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c-  1 









AR  BAR     S  HAd 

M 1  R  Z  A      5  .  \  L  E  E  M , 



who  shot  M^'Fraserat  Delhi 


Hiuig  fcir  the  Murder  of  NP Eraser . 

Day  fcHigh*  Lith?*  to  \h.t  Qut 








The  proper  study  of  mankind  is  man.' 

VOL.  II. 









Pindaree  System— Character  of  the  Mahratta  Administra- 
tion—Cause of  their  dislike  to  the  paramount  power.     ¥age  1 


Dholepore,    Capital  of  the  Jat  chiefs    of  Gohud — Conse- 
quence of  obstacles  to  the  prosecution  of  robbers  .  .11 


Influence  of  electricity  on  vegetation — Agra  and  its  build- 




Noor  Jehan^  the  aunt  of  the  Empress  Noor  Mahul,  over 
whose  remains  the  Taj  is  built     .  .  .  .     40 




Father  Gregory's  notion  of  the  impediments  to  conver- 
sion in  India — Inability  of  Europeans  to  speak  Eastern 
languages  .  .  .  .  .  .51 


Futtehpore  Secree  —  The  Emperor  Akbar's  pilgrimage — 
Birth  of  Jehangeer  .  .  .  .  .     65 


Bhurtpore— Deeg — Want  of  employment  for  the  military 
and  the  educated  classes  under  the  Company's  rule  .     75 


Goverdhun,  the  scene  of  Krishna's  dalliance  with  the  milk- 
maids    .  .  .  .  .  .  .92 


Veracity      .  .  .  .  .  .  .109 


Declining   fertility   of    the    soil  —  Popular   notion   of  the 




Concentration  of  capital,  and  its  effects        .  .  .   1 60 


Transit  duties  in  India— Mode  of  collecting  them  ..  .168 



Peasantry  of  India  attached  to  no  existing  Government — 
Want  of  trees  in  Upper  India — Cause  and  consequence — 
Wells  and  groves  .  .  .  .  .174 


Public  spirit  of  the  Hindoos — Tree  cultivation,  and  sugges- 
tion for  extending  it        .  .  .  •  .188 


Cities  and  towns,  formed  by  public  establishments,   disap- 
pear as  Sovereigns  and  Governors  change  their  abodes      .  20 1 


Murder  of  Mr.  Eraser,  and  execution  of  the  Nowab  Shum- 
shoodeen  .  .  ,  ,  .  .209 


Marriage  of  a  Jjit  chief     .  .  .  .  .232 


Collegiate  endowment  of  Mahomedan  tombs  and  mosques    .  236 


The  old  City  of  Delhi         .  .  .  .  245 

VOL.    II.  h 


New  Delhi,  or  Shah  Jehanabad        ....  263 


Indian  police— Its  defects — And  their  cause  and  remedy      .  313 


Rent-free   tenures — Right  of  Government  to  resume  such 
grants     .......  333 


The  station  of  Meerut — Atalees  who  dance  and  sing  gratis  v 
for  the  benefit  of  the  poor  ....  340 


Subdivision   of    lands  —  Want   of    gradations   of    rank  — 
Taxes     .  .  .  .  .  .  .346 


Meerut — Anglo-Indian  society         .  .  .  .356 

Pilgrims  in  India    •  ....  368 


The  Begum  Sumroo  .  •  .  .  .377 




Abolition   of  corporal   punishment — Increase  of  pay  with 
length  of  service — Promotion  by  seniority  .  .400 

Inyalid  establishment  ....  442 



Frontispiece  to  Vol.  1.    The  late  Emperor  of  Delhi. 
Frontispiece  to  Vol.  II.     Five  Portraits  from  Miniatures. 

Plate.  Vol.  II 

1 .  The  Taj  Mahul,  or  Tomb  of  Noor  Mahul,  the  wife  of 
Shah  Jehaa  ....  Page 

2.  Ditto 

3.  Ditto 

4.  The  Taj  from  the  River 

5.  Marble  Screen  of  the  Tomb  in  the  Taj 

6.  Gateway  of  the  Taj 

7.  Fort  of  Agra  from  the  River 

8.  Motee  Musjid,  or  Pearl  Mosque,  at  Agra,  built  by 

Shah  Jehan 

9.  Tomb  of  the  Emperor  Akbar  at  Secundra 

10.  Interior  of  ditto 

1 1 .  Gateway  to  ditto 

12.  Tomb  of  Actmad  od  Dowla  . 

13.  Interior  of  ditto 
The  China  Tomb  at  Agra,  a  very  old  Mausoleum, 

now  in  ruins,  built  by  an  Officer  of  the  Imperial 
Court  for  himself. 
The  Gateway  to  the  Quadrangle,  in  which  stands  the 
Tomb  of  the  Saint  at  Futtehpore  Secree    . 

16.  The  Pavilion  on  one  of  the  four  sides  of  the  Qua- 

drangular Garden  at  Deeg 

17.  Ditto  .  .         •   . 

18.  Ditto  .... 

19.  Ditto  .... 

20.  Runjeet  Sing's  Tomb  at  Goverdhun 

21.  The  Kootub  Meenar  at  Delhi 

22.  Dewan  Khan's  Palace  at  Delhi. 

23.  Tomb  of  Sufdeer  Jung  at  Delhi. 

24.  Five  Tombs  from  Miniatures. 

25.  26,  27,  28,  29,  30.  Plants  and  Ornaments. 











The  attempt  of  the  Marquis  of  Hastings  to  rescue 
India  from  that  dreadful  scourge,  the  Pindaree 
system,  involved  him  in  a  war  with  all  the  great 
Mahratta  states  except  Gwalior;  that  is,  with  the 
Peshwa  at  Poonah,  Hoi  car  at  Indore,  and  the  Ghosla 
at  Nagpore ;  and  Gwalior  was  prevented  from  join- 
ing the  other  states  in  their  unholy  league  against  us, 
only  by  the  presence  of  the  grand  division  of  the  army 
under  the  personal  command  of  the  marquis,  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  his  capital.  It  was  not  that  these 
chiefs  liked  the  Pindarees,  or  felt  any  interest  in  their 
welfare ;  but  because  they  were  always  anxious  to 
crush  that  rising  paramount  authority,  which  had  the 
power,  and  had  always  manifested  the  will,  to  inters 
pose  and  prevent  the  free  indulgence  of  their  preda- 
tory  habits — the   free   exercise  of  that  weapon,  a 

VOL.    II.  B 


Standing  army,  which  the  disorders  incident  upon  the 
decline  and  fall  of  the  Mahomedan  empire  had  put 
into  their  hands ;  and  which  a  continued  series   of 
successful  aggressions  upon  their  neighbours  could 
alone  enable  them  to  pay  or  keep  under  control. 
They  seized  with  avidity  any  occasion  of  quarrel  with 
the  paramount  power  which  seemed  likely  to  unite 
them  all  in  one  great  effort  to  shake  it  off;  and  they 
are  still  prepared  to  do  the  same,  because  they  feel 
that  they  could  easily  extend  their  depredations  if 
that  power  were  withdrawn ;  and  they  know  no  other 
road  to  wealth  and  glory  but  such  successful  depre- 
dations.    Their  ancestors  rose  by  them,  their  states 
were  formed   by  them,  and  their  armies  have  been 
maintained  by  them.     They  look  back  upon  them 
for  all  that  seems  to  them  honourable  in  the  history 
of  their  families.     Their  bards  sing  of  them  in  all 
their  marriage  and  funeral  processions ;  and  as  their 
imaginations  kindle  at  the  recollection,  they  detest 
the  arm  that  is  extended  to  defend  the  wealth  and  the 
industry  of  the  surrounding  territories  from  their  grasp. 
As  the  industrious  classes  acquire  and  display  their 
wealth  in  the  countries  around,  during  a  long  peace, 
under  a  strong  and  settled  government,  these  native 
chiefs,  with  their  little   disorderly  armies,  feel  pre- 
cisely as  an  English  country  gentleman  would  feel 
with  a  pack  of  fox-hounds,  in  a  country  swarming 
with  foxes,   and  without  the   privilege  of  hunting 

Their  armies  always  took  the  auspices  and  set  out 


kingdom  taJdng  (Moolk  Geeree)  after  the  Duseyra, 
in   November,   every  year,  as  regularly  as   English 
gentlemen  go  partridge  shooting  on  the  1st  of  Sep- 
tember ;    and  I  may  here  give  as  a  specimen,  the 
excursion  of  Jean  Baptiste  Feloze,  who  sallied  forth 
on  such  an  expedition,  at  the  head  of  a  division  of 
Scindhea's  army,  just  before  this  Pindara  war  com- 
menced.    From  Gwalior  he  proceeded  to  Kurowlee, 
and  took  from  the  chief  of  that  territory  the  district 
of  Subulghur,  yielding  four  lacks  of  rupees  yearly. 
He  then  took  the  territory  of  the  Rajah  of  Chun- 
deylee,  Morepylad,   one  of  the  oldest  of  the  Bundel- 
cund  chiefs,  which  then  yielded  about  seven  lacks  of 
rupees,  but  now  yields  only  four.     The  Rajah  got  an 
allowance  of  forty  thousand  rupees  a  year.     He  then 
took  the  territories  of  the  Rajahs  of  Ragooghur  and 
Bujrungur,  yielding  three  lacks  a  year ;  and  Baha- 
dergur  yielding  two  lacks  a  year ;   and  the  three 
princes  get  fifty  thousand  rupees    a  year  for  sub- 
sistence among  them.     He  then  took  Lopar,  yield- 
ing two  lacks  and  a  half,  and  assigned  the  Rajah 
twenty-five  thousand.     He  then  took  Gurha  Kotah, 
whose  chief  gets  subsistence  from  our  government. 
Baptiste  had  just  completed  his  kingdom-taking  ex- 
pedition, when  our  armies  took  the  field  against  the 
Pindarees ;  and  on  the  termination  of  that  war,  in 
1817,  all  these  acquisitions  were  confirmed  and  gua- 
ranteed to  his  master,  Scindhea,  by  our  government. 
It  cannot  be  supposed  that  either  he  or  his  army  can 
ever  feel  any  great  attachment  towards  a  paramount 

B  2 


authority,  that  has  the  power  and  the  will  to  inter- 
pose, and  prevent  their  indulging  in  such  sporting 
excursions  as  these,  or  any  great  disinclination  to 
take  advantage  of  any  occasion  that  may  seem  likely 
to  unite  all  the  native  chiefs  in  a  common  effort  to 
crush  it.  The  Nepalese  have  the  same  feeling  as  the 
Mahrattas  in  a  still  stronger  degree,  since  their  king- 
dom-taking excursions  had  been  still  greater  and 
more  successful ;  and  being  all  soldiers  from  the  same 
soil,  they  were  easily  persuaded,  by  a  long  series  of 
successful  aggressions,  that  their  courage  was  superior 
to  that  of  all  other  men.* 

In  the  year  1833,  the  Gwalior  territory  yielded  a 
net  revenue  to  the  treasury  of  ninety-two  lacks  of 
rupees,  after  disbursing  all  the  local  costs  of  the  civil 
and  fiscal  administration  of  the  different  districts,  in 
officers,  establishments,  charitable  institutions,  reli- 
gious endowments,  military  fiefs,  &c.  In  the  re- 
mote districts,  which  are  much  infested  by  the  pre- 

*  On  the  coronation  or  installation  of  every  new  prince  of  the 
house  of  Scindhea,  orders  are  given  to  plunder  a  few  shops  in  the 
town  as  a  part  of  the  ceremony;  and  this  they  call  or  consider  "  tak- 
ing the  auspices."  Compensation  is  supposed  to  be  made  to  the 
proprietors,  but  rarely  is  made.  I  believe  the  same  auspices  are 
taken  at  the  installation  of  a  new  prince  of  every  other  Mahratta 
house.  The  Mogul  invaders  of  India  were,  in  the  same  manner, 
obliged  to  allow  their  armies  to  take  the  auspices  in  the  sack  of  a 
few  towns,  though  they  had  surrendered  without  resistance. 
They  were  given  up  to  pillage  as  a  religious  duty  !  Even  the 
accomplished  Baber  was  obliged  to  concede  this  privilege  to  his 

gwalior  territory.  0 

datory  tribes  of  Bheels,  and  in  consequence  badly 
peopled  and  cultivated,  the  net  revenue  is  estimated 
to  be  about  one-third  of  the  gross  collections ;  but 
in  the  districts  near  the  capital,  which  are  tole- 
rably well  cultivated,  the  net  revenue  brought  to 
the  treasury  is  about  five-sixths  of  the  gross  collec- 
tions ;  and  these  collections  are  equal  to  the  whole 
annual  rent  of  the  land :  for  every  man  by  whom  the 
land  is  held  or  cultivated  is  a  mere  tenant  at  will, 
liable  every  season  to  be  turned  out,  to  give  place  to 
any  other  man  that  may  offer  more  for  the  holding. 
There  is  nowhere  to  be  seen  upon  the  land  any 
useful  or  ornamental  work,  calculated  to  attach  the 
people  to  the  soil,  or  to  their  villages  ;  and  as  hardly 
any  of  the  recruits  for  the  regiments  are  drawn  from 
the  peasantry  of  the  country,  the  agricultural  classes 
have  nowhere  any  feeling  of  interest  in  the  welfare 
or  existence  of  the  government.  I  am  persuaded 
that  there  is  not  a  single  village  in  all  the  Gwalior 
dominions  in  which  nine-tenths  of  the  people  would 
not  be  glad  to  see  that  government  destroyed,  under 
the  persuasion,  that  they  could  not  possibly  have  a 
worse,  and  would  be  very  likely  to  find  a  better. 

The  present  force  at  Gwalior  consists  of  three  re- 
giments of  infantry,  under  Colonel  Alexander;  six 
under  the  command  of  Apajee,  the  adopted  son  of 
the  late  Bala  Bae ;  eleven  under  Colonel  Jacobs 
and  his  son ;  five  under  Colonel  Jean  Baptiste 
Feloze ;  two  under  the  command  of  the  Mamoo 
Sahib,  the  maternal  uncle  of  the  Maha  Rajah  ;  three 


in  what  is  called  Baboo  Bowlee's  camp ;  in  all  thirty 
regiments,  consisting,  when  complete,  of  six  hundred 
men  each,  with  four  field-pieces.  The  Jinsee,  or 
artillery,  consists  of  two  hundred  guns  of  different 
calibre.  There  are  but  few  corps  of  cavalry,  and 
these  are  not  considered  very  efficient,  I  believe. 

Robbers  and  murderers  of  all  descriptions  have 
always  been  in  the  habit  of  taking  the  field  in  India 
immediately  after  the  festival  of  the  Duseyra,  at  the 
end  of  October,  from  the  sovereign  of  a  state  at  the 
head  of  his  armies,  down  to  the  leader  of  a  little 
band  of  pickpockets  from  the  corner  of  some  obscure 
village.    All  invoke  the  Deity,  and  take  the  auspices 
to  ascertain  his  will,  nearly  in  the  same  way ;  and 
all   expect  that  he  will    guide    them    successfully 
through  their  enterprises,  as  long  as  they  find  the 
omens  favourable.    No  one  among  them  ever  dreams 
that  his  undertaking  can  be  less  acceptable  to  the 
Deity  than  that  of  another,  provided  he  gives  him 
the  same  due  share  of  what  he  acquires  in  his  thefts, 
his  robberies,  or  his  conquests,"in  sacrifices  and  offer- 
ings upon  his  shrines,  and  in  donations  to  his  priests. 
Nor  does  the  robber  often  dream  that  he  shall  be  con- 
sidered a  less  respectable  citizen  by  the  circle  in  which 
he  moves  than  the  soldier,  provided  he  spends  his  in- 
come as  liberally,  and  discharges  all  his  duties  in  his 
relations  with  them  as  well ;  and  this  he  generally 
does  to  secure  their  good  will,  whatever  may  be  the 
character  of  his  depredations  upon  distant  circles  of 
society  and  communities.     The  man  who  returned 


to  Oude,  or  Rohilcund,  after  a  campaign  under  a 
Pindaree  chief,  was  as  well  received  as  one  who  re- 
turned after  serving  one  under  Scindhea,  Holcar, 
or  Runjeet  Sing.  A  friend  of  mine  one  day  asked 
a  leader  of  a  band  of  Dacoits,  or  banditti,  whether 
they  did  not  often  commit  murder.  "  God  forbid," 
said  he,  "  that  we  should  ever  commit  murder ;  but 
if  people  choose  to  oppose  us,  we  of  course  strike  and 
Mil ;  but  you  do  the  same.  I  hear  that  there  is  now 
a  large  assemblage  of  troops  in  the  upper  provinces 
going  to  take  foreign  countries ;  if  they  are  opposed, 
they  will  kill  people.  We  only  do  the  same!" 
The  history  of  the  rise  of  every  nation  in  the  world 
unhappily  bears  out  the  notion  that  princes  are  only 
robbers  upon  a  large  scale,  till  their  ambition  is 
curbed  by  a  balance  of  power  among  nations. 

On  the  25th  we  came  on  to  Dhumeela,  fourteen 
miles,  over  a  plain,  with  the  range  of  sandstone  hills 
on  the  left,  receding  from  us  to  the  west ;  and  that 
on  the  right  receding  still  more  to  the  east.  Here 
and  there  were  some  insulated  hills,  of  the  same  formar 
tion,  rising  abruptly  from  the  plain  to  our  right.  All 
the  villages  we  saw  were  built  upon  masses  of  this 
sandstone  rock,  rising  abruptly  at  intervals  from  the 
surface  of  the  plain,  in  horizontal  strata.  These 
hillocks  afford  the  people  stone  for  building,  and 
great  facilities  for  defending  themselves  against  the 
inroads  of  freebooters.  There  is  not,  I  suppose,  in 
the  world,  finer  stone  for  building  than  these  sand- 
stone hills  afford  ;  and  we  passed  a  great  many  carts 


carrying  them  off  to  distant  places,  in  slabs  or  flags 
from  ten  to  sixteen  feet  long,  two  to  three  feet  wide, 
and  six  inches  thick.  They  are  white,  with  yery 
minute  pink  spots,  and  of  a  texture  so  very  fine,  that 
they  would  be  taken  for  indurated  clay,  on  a  slight 
inspection.  The  houses  of  the  poorest  peasants  are 
here  built  of  this  beautiful  freestone,  which,  after 
two  hundred  years,  looks  as  if  it  had  been  quarried 
only  yesterday. 

About  three  miles  from  our  tents  we  crossed  over 
the  little  river  Ghorapuchar,  flowing  over  a  bed  of 
this  sandstone.  The  soil  all  the  way  very  light,  and 
the  cultivation  scanty  and  bad.  Except  within  the 
enclosures  of  men's  houses,  scarcely  a  tree  to  be  any- 
where seen  to  give  shelter  and  shade  to  the  weary 
traveller ;  and  we  could  find  no  ground  for  our  camp 
with  a  shrub  to  shelter  man  or  beast.  All  are  swept 
away  to  form  gun-carriages  for  the  Gwalior  artillery, 
with  a  philosophical  disregard  to  the  comforts  of  the 
living,  the  repose  of  the  dead,  who  planted  them  with 
a  view  to  a  comfortable  berth  in  the  next  world,  and 
to  the  will  of  the  gods  to  whom  they  are  dedicated. 
There  is  nothing  left  upon  the  land,  of  animal  or 
vegetable  life,  to  animate  or  enrich  it ;  nothing  of 
stock  but  what  is  necessary  to  draw  from  the  soil  an 
annual  crop,  and  which  looks  to  one  harvest  for  its  en- 
tire return.  The  sovereign  proprietor  of  the  soil  lets  it 
out  by  the  year,  in  farms  or  villages,  to  men  who  de- 
pend entirely  upon  the  year's  return  for  the  means 
of  payment.     He,  in  his  turn,  lets  the  lands  in  detail 


to  those  who  till  them,  and  who  depend  for  their 
subsistence,  and  for  the  means  of  paying  their  rents, 
upon  the  returns  of  the  single  harvest.     There  is  no 
manufacture  anywhere  to  be  seen,  save  of  brass  pots 
and  rude  cooking  utensils ;    no  trade  or  commerce, 
save  in  the  transport  of  the  rude  produce  of  the  land, 
to  the  great  camp  at  Gwalior,  upon  the  backs  of 
bullocks,  for  want  of  roads  fit  for  wheeled  carriages. 
No  one  resides  in   the  villages,  save  those  whose 
labour  is  indispensably  necessary  to  the  rudest  tillage, 
and  those  who  collect  the  dues  of  government,  and 
are  paid  upon  the  lowest  possible  scale.     Such  is  the 
state  of  the  Gwalior  territories  in  every  part  of  India 
where  I  have  seen  them.     The  miseries  and  misrule 
of  the  Oude,   Hydrabad,  and  other  Mahomedan  go- 
vernments, are  heard  of  everywhere,  because  there 
are,  under  those  governments,  a  middle  and  higher 
class  upon  the  land  to  suffer  and  proclaim  them ; 
but  those  of  the  Gwalior  state  are  never  heard  of, 
because  no  such  classes  are  ever  allowed  to  grow  up 
upon  the  land.     Had  Russia  governed  Poland,  and 
Turkey  Greece,  in  the  way  that  Gwalior  has  governed 
her  conquered  territories,  we  should  never  have  heard 
of  the  wrongs  of  the  one  or  the  other. 

In  my  morning's  ride,  the  day  before  I  left  Gwalior, 
I  saw  a  fine  leopard  standing  by  the  side  of  the  most 
frequented  road,  and  staring  at  every  one  who 
passed.  It  was  held  by  two  men,  who  sat  by  and 
talked  to  it  as  if  it  had  been  a  human  being.  I 
thought  it  was  an  animal  for  show,  and  I  was  about 


to  give  them  something,  when  they  told  me  that 
they  were  servants  of  the  Maha  Rajah,  and  were 
training  the  leopard  to  bear  the  sight  and  society  of 
man.  "  It  had,"  they  said,  "  been  caught  about  three 
months  ago  in  the  jungles,  where  it  could  never  bear 
the  sight  of  man,  or  of  any  animal  that  it  could  not 
prey  upon ;  and  must  be  kept  upon  the  most  fre- 
quented road  till  quite  tamed.  Leopards  taken 
when  very  young  would,"  they  said,  "  do  very  well 
as  pets,  but  never  answered  for  hunting;  a  good 
leopard  for  hunting  must,  before  taken,  be  allowed 
to  be  a  season  or  two  providing  for  himself,  and 
living  upon  the  deer  he  takes  in  the  jungles  and 




On  the  morning  of  the  26th  we  sent  on  one  tent, 
with  the  intention  of  following  it  in  the  afternoon ; 
but  about  three  o'clock  a  thunder-storm  came  on  so 
heavily,  that  I  was  afraid  that  which  we  occupied 
would  come  down  upon  us ;  and  putting  my  wife 
and  child  in  a  palankeen,  I  took  them  to  the  dwell- 
ing of  an  old  Byragee,  about  two  hundred  yards  from 
us.  He  received  us  very  kindly,  and  paid  us  many 
compliments  about  the  honour  we  had  conferred  upon 
him.  He  was  a  kind  and,  I  think,  a  very  good  old 
man,  and  had  six  disciples  who  seemed  to  reverence 
him  very  much.  A  large  stone  image  of  Hoonooman, 
the  monkey  god,  painted  red,  and  a  good  store  of 
buffalos,  very  comfortably  sheltered  from  the  "  piti- 
less storm,"  were  in  an  inner  court.  The  peacocks  in 
dozens  sought  shelter  under  the  walls  and  in  the  tree 


that  stood  in  the  courtyard ;  and  I  believe  that  they 
would  have  come  into  the  old  man's  apartments  had 
they  not  seen  our  white  faces  there.  I  had  a 
great  deal  of  talk  with  him,  but  did  not  take  any 
notes  of  it.  These  old  Byragees,  who  spend  the 
early  and  middle  periods  of  life  as  disciples  in  pil- 
grimages to  the  celebrated  temples  of  their  god 
Vishnu,  in  all  parts  of  India,  and  the  latter  part  of 
it  as  high  priests  or  apostles,  in  listening  to  the  re- 
ports of  the  numerous  disciples  employed  in  similar 
wanderings,  are  perhaps  the  most  intelligent  men  in 
the  country.  They  are  from  all  the  castes  and  classes 
of  society.  The  lowest  Hindoo  may  become  a 
Byragee,  and  the  very  highest  are  often  tempted  to 
become  so ;  the  service  of  the  god  to  which  they 
devote  themselves  levelling  all  distinctions.  Few  of 
them  can  write  or  read,  but  they  are  shrewd  ob- 
servers of  men  and  things,  and  often  exceedingly 
agreeable  and  instructive  companions  to  those  who 
understand  them  and  can  make  them  enter  into  un- 
reserved conversation.  Our  tent  stood  out  the  storm 
pretty  well,  but  we  were  obliged  to  defer  our  march 
till  next  day.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  27th  we 
went  on  twelve  miles,  over  a  plain  of  deep  alluvion, 
through  which  two  rivers  have  cut  their  way  to  the 
Chumbul;  and,  as  usual,  the  ravines  along  their 
banks  are  deep,  long,  and  dreary. 

About  half  way  we  were  overtaken  by  one  of  the 
heaviest  showers  of  rain  I  ever  saw ;  it  threat- 
ened us  from  neither  side,  but  began  to  descend  from 


an  apparently  small  bed  of  clouds  directly  over  our 
heads,  which  seemed  to  spread  out  on  every  side  as 
the  rain  fell,  and  fill  the  whole  vault  of  heaven  with 
one  dark  and  dense  mass.  The  wind  changed  fre- 
quently; and  in  less  than  half  an  hour  the  whole 
surface  of  the  country  over  which  we  were  travelling 
was  under  water.  This  dense  mass  of  clouds  passed 
off  in  about  two  hours  to  the  east ;  but  twice,  when 
the  sun  opened  and  beamed  divinely  upon  us  in  a 
cloudless  sky  to  the  west,  the  wind  changed  suddenly 
round,  and  rushed  back  angrily  from  the  east,  to  fill 
up  the  space  which  had  been  quickly  rarified  by  the 
genial  heat  of  its  rays,  till  we  were  again  enveloped 
in  darkness,  and  began  to  despair  of  reaching  any 
human  habitation  before  night.  Some  hail  fell 
among  the  rain,  but  not  large  enough  to  hurt  any 
one.  The  thunder  was  loud  and  often  startling  to 
the  strongest  nerves ;  and  the  lightning  vivid  and 
almost  incessant.  We  managed  to  keep  the  road 
because  it  was  merely  a  beaten  pathway  below  the 
common  level  of  the  country,  and  we  could  trace  it 
by  the  greater  depth  of  the  water,  and  the  absence 
of  all  shrubs  and  grass.  All  roads  in  India  soon 
become  water-courses — they  are  nowhere  metalled ; 
and,  being  left  for  four  or  five  months  every  year 
without  rain,  their  soil  is  reduced  to  powder  by 
friction,  and  carried  off  by  the  winds  over  the  sur- 
rounding country.  I  was  on  horseback,  but  my  wife 
and  child  were  secure  in  a  good  palankeen  that 
sheltered  them  from  the  rain.     The  bearers  were 


obliged  to  move  with  great  caution  and  slowly,  and 
I  sent  on  every  person  I  could  spare  that  they  might 
heep  moving,  for  the  cold  blast  blowing  over  their 
thin  and  wet  clothes  seemed  intolerable  to  those  who 
were  idle.  My  child's  playmate,  Gholab,  a  lad  of 
about  ten  years  of  age,  resolutely  kept  by  the  side  of 
the  palankeen,  trotting  through  the  water  with  his 
teeth  chattering  as  if  he  had  been  in  an  ague.  The 
rain  at  last  ceased,  and  the  sky  in  the  west  cleared 
up  beautifully  about  half  an  hour  before  sunset. 
Little  Gholab  threw  off  his  stuffed  and  quilted  vest, 
and  got  a  good  dry  English  blanket  to  wrap  round 
him  from  the  palankeen.  We  soon  after  reached  a 
small  village,  in  which  I  treated  all  who  had  remained 
with  us  to  as  much  coarse  sugar  (goor)  as  they  could 
eat ;  and  as  people  of  all  castes  can  eat  of  sweet- 
meats from  the  hands  of  confectioners  without  pre- 
judice to  their  caste,  and  this  sugar  is  considered  to 
be  the  best  of  all  good  things  for  guarding  against 
colds  in  man  or  beast,  they  all  ate  very  heartily,  and 
went  on  in  high  spirits.  As  the  sun  sank  before  us 
on  the  left,  a  bright  moon  shone  out  upon  us  from 
the  right,  and  about  an  hour  after  dark  we  reached 
our  tents  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Kooaree  river, 
where  we  found  an  excellent  dinner  for  ourselves? 
and  good  fires,  and  good  shelter  for  our  servants. 
Little  rain  had  fallen  near  the  tents,  and  the  river 
Kooaree,  over  which  we  had  to  cross,  had  not  for- 
tunately much  swelled;  nor  did  much  fall  on  the 
ground  we  had  left ;  and  as  the  tents  there  had  been 


struck  and  laden  before  it  came  on,  they  came  up  the 
next  morning  early,  and  went  on  to  our  next  ground. 
On  the  28th,  we  went  on  to  Dholepore,  the  capital 
of  the  Jat  chiefs  of  Gohud,  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Chumbul,  over  a  plain  with  a  variety  of  crops,  but 
not  one  that  requires  two  seasons  to  reach  maturity. 
The  soil  excellent  in  quality  and  deep,  but  not  a  tree 
anywhere  to  be  seen,  nor  any  such  thing  as  a  work 
of  ornament  or  general  utility  of  any  kind.  We 
saw  the  fort  of  Dholepore  at  a  distance  of  six  miles, 
rising  apparently  from  the  surface  of  the  level  plain  ; 
but  in  reality  situated  on  the  summit  of  the  opposite 
and  high  bank  of  a  large  river,  its  foundation  at  least 
one  hundred  feet  above  the  level  of  the  water.  The 
immense  pandemonia  of  ravines  that  separated  us 
from  this  fort,  were  not  visible  till  we  began  to  descend 
into  them  some  two  or  three  miles  from  the  bed  of 
the  river.  Like  all  the  ravines  that  border  the 
rivers  in  these  parts,  they  are  naked,  gloomy,  and 
ghastly,  and  the  knowledge  that  no  solitary  traveller 
is  ever  safe  in  them,  does  not  tend  to  improve  the  im- 
pression they  make  upon  us.  The  river  is  a  beautiful 
clear  stream,  here  flowing  over  a  bed  of  fine  sand  with 
a  motion  so  gentle,  that  one  can  hardly  conceive  it 
is  she  who  has  played  such  fantastic  tricks  along  the 
borders,  and  made  such  "  frightful  gashes"  in  them. 
As  we  passed  over  this  noble  reach  of  the  river 
Chumbul  in  a  ferrj^-boat,  the  boatman  told  us  of  the 
magnificent  bridge  formed  here  by  the  Byza  Bae 
for  Lord  William  Bentinck  in  the  year  1832,  from 



boats  brought  down  from  Agra  for  the  purpose. 
"  Little,"  said  they,  "  did  it  avail  her  with  the  Gover- 
nor-general in  her  hour  of  need !" 

The  town  of  Dholepore  lies  some  short  way  in 
from  the  north  bank  of  the  Chumbul,  at  the  extre- 
mity of  a  range  of  sandstone  hills  which  runs  diago- 
nally across  that  of  Gwalior.  This  range  was  once 
capped  with  basalt,  and  some  boulders  are  still  found 
upon  it  in  a  state  of  rapid  decomposition.  It  was 
quite  refreshing  to  see  the  beautiful  mango  groves  on 
the  Dholepore  side  of  the  river,  after  passing  through 
a  large  tract  of  country  in  which  no  tree  of  any  kind 
was  to  be  seen.  On  returning  from  a  long  ride  over 
the  range  of  sandstone  hills  the  morning  after  we 
reached  Dholepore,  I  passed  through  an  encamp- 
ment of  camels  taking  rude  iron  from  some  mines  in 
the  hills  to  the  south  towards  Agra.  They  waited 
here  within  the  frontier  of  a  native  state  for  a  pass 
from  the  Agra  custom-house,  lest  any  one  should, 
after  they  enter  our  frontier,  pretend  that  they  were 
going  to  smuggle  it,  and  thus  get  them  into  trouble. 
"Are  you  not,"  said  I,  "afraid  to  remain  here  so 
near  the  ravines  of  the  Chumbul,  where  thieves  are 
said  to  be  so  numerous  ?"  "  Not  at  all,"  replied 
they.  "I  suppose  thieves  do  not  think  it  worth 
while  to  steal  rude  iron  ?"  "  Thieves,  sir,  think  it 
worth  their  while  to  steal  anything  they  can  get, 
but  we  do  not  fear  them  much  here."  "  Where  then 
do  you  fear  them  much  ?"  "  We  fear  them  when 
we  get  into  the  Company's  territories."     "  And  how 


is  this,  when  we  have  good  police  establishments, 
and  the  Dholepore  people  none  ? "  "  When  the 
Dholepore  people  get  hold  of  a  thief,  they  make  him 
disgorge  all  that  he  has  got  of  our  property  ybr  us, 
and  they  confiscate  all  the  rest  that  he  has  for  them- 
selves ;  and  cut  off  his  nose  or  his  hands,  and  turn 
him  adrift  to  deter  others.  You,  on  the  contrary, 
when  you  get  hold  of  a  thief,  worry  us  to  death  in  the 
prosecution  of  your  courts ;  and  when  we  have  proved 
the  robbery  to  your  satisfaction,  you  leave  all  this 
ill-gottten  wealth  to  his  family,  and  provide  him  with 
good  food  and  clothing  yourselves,  while  he  works 
for  you  a  couple  of  years  on  the  roads.  The  con- 
sequence is,  that  here  fellows  are  afraid  to  rob  a 
traveller  if  they  find  him  at  all  on  his  guard,  as  we 
generally  are ;  while  in  your  districts  they  rob  us 
where  and  when  they  like."  "  But,  my  friends,  you 
are  sure  to  recover  what  we  do  get  of  your  property 
from  the  thieves."  "  Not  quite  sure  of  that  neither," 
said  they ;  "  for  the  greater  part  is  generally  ab- 
sorbed on  its  way  back  to  us  through  the  officers  of 
your  court ;  and  we  would  always  rather  put  up  with 
the  first  loss,  than  run  the  risk  of  a  greater  by  pro- 
secution, if  we  happen  to  get  robbed  within  the 
Company's  territories."  The  loss  and  annoyance  to 
which  prosecutors  and  witnesses  are  subject  in  our 
courts,  are  a  source  of  very  great  evil  to  the  country. 
They  enable  police  officers  everywhere  to  grow  rich 
upon  the  concealment  of  crimes.  The  man  who 
has  been  robbed  will  bribe  them  to  conceal  the 
VOL.   IL  c 


robbery,  that  he  may  escape  the  further  loss  of  the 
prosecution  in  our  courts,  generally  very  distant ; 
and  the  witnesses  will  bribe  them,  to  avoid  attending 
to  give  evidence;  the  whole  village  communities 
bribe  them,  because  every  man  feels  that  they  have 
the  power  of  getting  him  summoned  to  the  court  in 
some  capacity  or  other  if  they  like ;  and  that  they 
will  certainly  like  to  do  so  if  not  bribed.  The  ob- 
stacles which  our  system  opposes  to  the  successful 
prosecution  of  robbers  of  all  denominations  and 
descriptions,  deprive  our  government  of  all  popular 
support  in  the  administration  of  criminal  justice ;  and 
this  is  considered  everywhere  to  be  the  worst,  and  in- 
deed the  only  radically  bad  feature  of  our  government. 
No  magistrate  hopes  to  get  a  final  conviction  against 
one  in  four  of  the  most  atrocious  gang  of  robbers  and 
murderers  of  his  district,  and  his  only  resource  is  in 
the  security  laws  which  enable  him  to  keep  them  in  a 
jail  under  a  requisition  of  security  for  short  periods. 
To  this  an  idle  or  apathetic  magistrate  will  not  have 
recourse ;  and  under  him  these  robbers  have  a  free 

In  England,  a  judicial  acquittal  does  not  send 
back  the  culprit  to  follow  the  same  trade  in  the 
same  field  as  in  India  ;  for  the  published  proceedings 
of  the  court  bring  down  upon  him  the  indignation  of 
society — the  moral  and  religious  feelings  of  his  fellow 
men  are  arrayed  against  him,  and  from  these  salutary 
checks  no  flaw  in  the  indictment  can  save  him.  Not 
so  in  India.    There  no  moral  or  religious  feelings  in- 


terpose  to  assist  or  to  supply  the  deficiencies  of  the 
penal  law.  Provided  he  eats,  drinks,  smokes, 
marries,  and  makes  his  offerings  to  his  priest  accord- 
ing to  the  rules  of  his  caste,  the  robber  and  the  mur- 
derer incurs  no  odium  in  the  circle  in  which  he 
moves,  either  religious  or  moral,  and  this  is  the  only 
circle  for  whose  feelings  he  has  any  regard. 

The  man  who  passed  off  his  bad  coin  at  Duteea, 
passed  off  more  at  Dholepore  while  my  advanced 
people  were  coming  in,  pretending  that  he  wanted 
things  for  me,  and  was  in  a  great  hurry  to  be  ready 
with  them  at  my  tents  by  the  time  I  came  up. 
The  bad  rupees  were  brought  to  a  native  officer 
of  my  guard,  who  went  with  the  shopkeepers  in 
search  of  the  knave,  but  he  could  nowhere  be  found. 
The  gates  of  the  town  were  shut  up  all  night  at  my 
suggestion,  and  in  the  morning  every  lodging-house 
in  the  town  was  searched  for  him  in  vain — he  had 
gone  on.  I  had  left  some  sharp  men  behind  me,  ex- 
pecting that  he  would  endeavour  to  pass  off  his  bad 
money  immediately  after  my  departure ;  but  in  ex- 
pectation of  this  he  was  now  evidently  keeping  a 
little  in  advance  of  me.  I  sent  on  some  men  with 
the  shopkeepers  whom  he  had  cheated  to  our  next 
stage,  in  the  hope  of  overtaking  him  ;  but  he  had  left 
the  place  before  they  arrived  without  passing  any  of 
his  bad  coin,  and  gone  on  to  Agra.  The  shop- 
keepers could  not  be  persuaded  to  go  any  further 
after  him,  for  if  they  caught  him,  they  should,  they 
said,  have  infinite  trouble  in  prosecuting  him  in  our 

c  2 


courts,  without  any  chance  of  recovering  from  him 
what  they  had  lost ! 

On  the  29th,  we  remained  at  Dholepore  to  receive 
and  return  the  visits  of  the  young  Rajah,  or,  as  he  is 
called,  the  young  Rana,  a  lad  of  about  fifteen  years 
of  age,  very  plain,  and  very  dull.  He  came  about 
ten  o'clock  in  the  forenoon  with  a  very  respectable 
and  well-dressed  retinue,  and  a  tolerable  show  of 
elephants  and  horses.  The  uniforms  of  his  guards 
were  made  after  those  of  our  own  soldiers,  and  did 
not  please  me  half  so  much  as  those  of  the  Duteea 
guards,  who  were  permitted  to  consult  their  own 
tastes  ;  and  the  music  of  the  drums  and  fifes  seemed 
to  me  infinitely  inferior  to  that  of  the  mounted  min- 
strels of  my  old  friend  Pareechut.  The  lad  had  with 
him  about  a  dozen  old  public  servants  entitled  to 
chairs,  some  of  whom  had  served  his  father  above 
thirty  years;  while  the  ancestors  of  others  had 
served  his  grandfathers  and  great  grandfathers,  and 
1  could  not  help  telling  the  lad  in  their  presence, 
"  That  these  were  the  greatest  ornament  of  a  prince's 
throne,  and  the  best  signs  and  pledges  of  a  good 
government."  They  were  all  evidently  much  pleased 
at  the  compliment,  and  I  thought  they  deserved  to 
be  pleased,  from  the  good  character  they  bore  among 
the  peasantry  of  the  country.  I  mentioned  that  I 
had  understood  the  boatman  of  the  Chumbul  at 
Dholepore  never  caught  or  ate  fish.  The  lad  seemed 
embarrassed,  and  the  minister  took  upon  himself  to 
reply,  "  That  there  was  no  market  for  it,  since  the 

JATS.  21 

Hindoos  of  Dholepore  never  ate  fish,  and  the  Maho- 
medans  had  all  disappeared."  I  asked  the  lad> 
"  Whether  he  was  fond  of  hunting  ?"  He  seemed 
again  confounded ;  and  the  minister  said,  "  That  his 
highness  never  either  hunted  or  fished,  as  people  of 
his  caste  were  prohibited  from  destroying  life."  *'  And 
yet,"  said  I,  "  they  have  often  showed  themselves 
good  soldiers  in  battle."  They  were  all  pleased 
again,  and  said,  "  That  they  were  not  prohibited 
from  killing  tigers ;  but  that  there  was  no  jungle  of 
any  kind  near  Dholepore,  and,  consequently,  no 
tigers  to  be  found."  The  Jats  are  descendants  of  the 
Getae,  and  were  people  of  very  low  caste,  or  rather 
of  no  caste  at  all  among  the  Hindoos ;  and  they  are 
now  trying  to  raise  themselves  by  abstaining  from 
eating  and  killing  animals.  Among  Hindoos  this  is 
everything ;  a  man  of  low  caste  is  a  man  who  "  sub 
kooch  khata,"  sticks  at  nothing  in  the  way  of  eat- 
ing ;  and  a  man  of  high  caste,  is  a  man  who  abstains 
from  eating  anything  but  vegetable  or  farinaceous 
food:  if  at  the* same  time  he  abstains  from  usino:  in 
his  cook-room  all  woods  but  one,  and  has  that  one 
washed  before  he  uses  it,  he  is  canonized.  Having 
attained  to  military  renown  and  territorial  dominion, 
in  the  usual  way,  by  robbery,  the  Jats  naturally 
enough  seek  the  distinction  of  high  caste,  to  enable 
them  the  better  to  enjoy  their  position  in  society. 
It  had  been  stipulated  that  I  should  walk  to  the 
bottom  of  the  steps  to  receive  the  Rana,  as  is  the 
usage  on  such  occasions,  and  carpets  were  accordingly 


spread  thus  far.  Here  he  got  out  of  his  chair,  and 
I  led  him  into  the  large  room  of  the  bungalow, 
which  we  occupied  during  our  stay,  followed  by  all 
his  and  my  attendants.  The  bungalow  had  been 
built  by  the  former  British  resident  at  Gwalior,  the 
Honourable  R.  Cavendish,  for  his  residence  during 
the  latter  part  of  the  rains  when  Gwalior  is  consi- 
dered to  be  unhealthy.  At  his  departure,  the  Rana 
purchased  this  bungalow  for  the  use  of  European 
gentlemen  and  ladies  passing  through  his  capital. 

In  the  afternoon,  about  four  o'clock,  I  went  to 
return  his  visit,  in  a  small  palace  not  yet  finished,  a 
pretty  piece  of  miniature  fortification,  surrounded  by 
what  they  call  their  chownee,  or  cantonments.  The 
streets  are  good,  and  the  buildings  neat  and  sub- 
stantial ;  but  there  is  nothing  to  strike  or  particularly 
interest  the  stranger.  The  interview  passed  off  with- 
out anything  remarkable ;  and  I  was  more  than  ever 
pleased  with  the  people  by  whom  this  young  chief  is 
surrounded.  Indeed,  I  had  much  reason  to  be 
pleased  with  the  manners  of  all  the  people  on  this 
side  of  the  Chumbul.  They  are  those  of  a  people 
well  pleased  to  see  English  gentlemen  among  them, 
and  anxious  to  make  themselves  useful  and  agreeable 
to  us.  They  know  that  their  chief  is  indebted  to 
the  British  government  for  all  the  country  he  has, 
and  that  he  would  be  swallowed  up  by  Scindhea's 
greedy  army  were  not  the  sevenfold  shield  of  the 
honourable  Company  spread  over  him.  His  esta- 
blishments, civil  and  military,  like  those  of  the  Bun- 


delcund   chiefs,  are  raised  from  the  peasantry  and 
yeomanry  of  the  country ;  who  all,  in  consequence, 
feel  an  interest  in  the  prosperity  and  independent 
respectability  of  their  chief.     On  the  Gwalior  side, 
the  members  of  all  the  public  establishments  know 
and  feel,  that  it  is  we  who  interpose  and  prevent 
their  master  from  swallowing  up  all  his  neighbours, 
and  thereby  having  increased  means  of  promoting 
their  interest  and  that  of  their  friends ;  and  they 
detest  us  all  most  cordially  in  consequence.     The 
peasantry  of  the  Gwalior  territories  seem  to  consider 
their  own  government  a  kind  of  minotaur,  which 
they  would  be  glad  to  see  destroyed,  no  matter  how 
or  by  whom ;  since  it  gives  no  lucrative  or  honour- 
able employment  to  any  of  their  members,   so  as  to 
interest  either  their  pride  or  their  affections  ;  nor 
throws   back   among   them   for   purposes   of    local 
advantage,  any  of  the  produce  of  their  land  and 
labour  which  it  exacts.     It  is  worthy  of  remark,  that 
though  the  Dholepore  chief  is  peculiarly  the  creature 
of  the  British  government,  and  indebted  to  it  for  all 
he  has  or  ever  will  have,  and  though  he  has  never  had 
anything,  and  never  can  have  or  can  hope  to  have 
anything,  from   the  poor  pageant   of  the  house  of 
Tymour,  who  now  sits  on  the  throne  of  Delhi, — yet 
on  his  seal  of  office  he  declares  himself  to  be  the 
slave  and  creature  of  that  imperial  "  warrior  for  the 
faith  of  Islam."     As  he  abstains  from  eating  the 
good  fish  of  the  river  Chumbul  to  enhance  his  claim 
to  caste  among  Hindoos,  so  he  abstains  from  acknow- 


ledging  his  deep  debt  of  gratitude  to  the  honourable 
Company,  or  the  British  government,  with  a  view  to 
give  the  rust  of  age  to  his  rank  and  title — to  acknow- 
ledge himself  a  creature  of  the  British  government, 
were  to  acknowledge  that  he  was  a  man  of  yesterday 
— to  acknowledge  himself  the  slave  of  the  Emperor, 
is  to  claim  for  his  poor  veins  "  the  blood  of  a  line  of 
kings."  The  petty  chiefs  of  Bundelcund,  who  are 
in  the  same  manner  especially  dependent  on  the 
British  government,  do  the  same  thing. 

At  Dholepore,  there  are  some  noble  old  mosques 
and  mausoleums  built  three  hundred  years  ago,  in 
the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Hoomaeon,  by  some  great 
officers  of  his  government,  whose  remains  still  rest 
undisturbed  among  them,  though  the  names  of  their 
families  have  been  for  many  ages  forgotten,  and  no 
men  of  their  creed  now  live  near  to  demand  for  them 
the  respect  of  the  living.  These  tombs  are  all  elabo- 
rately built  and  worked  out  of  the  fine  freestone  of 
the  country ;  and  the  trellis  work  upon  some  of  their 
stone  screens,  is  still  as  beautiful  as  when  first  made. 
There  are  Persian  and  Arabic  inscriptions  upon  all 
of  them ;  and  I  found  from  them  that  one  of  the 
mosques  had  been  built  by  the  Emperor  Shah  Jehan 
in  A.  D.  1634,  when  he  little  dreamed  that  his  three 
sons  would  here  meet  to  fight  the  great  fight  for  the 
throne,  while  he  yet  sat  upon  it. 









DayOU^  l.i*"lo  the  Quee 





On  the  30th  and  31st,  we  went  twenty-four  miles 
over  a  dry  plain,  with  a  sandy  soil  covered  with  ex- 
cellent crops  where  irrigated,  and  very  poor  ones 
where  not.  We  met  several  long  strings  of  camels 
carrying  grain  from  Agra  to  Gwalior.  A  single  man 
takes  charge  of  twenty  or  thirty,  holding  the  bridle 
of  the  first,  and  walking  on  before  its  nose.  The 
bridles  of  all  the  rest  are  tied  one  after  the  other  to 
the  saddles  of  those  immediately  before  them,  and 
all  move  along  after  the  leader  in  single  file. 
Water  must  tend  to  attract  and  to  impart  to  vege- 
tables a  good  deal  of  electricity  and  other  vivifying 
powers  that  would  otherwise  lie  dormant  in  the 
earth  at  a  distance  from  their  roots.  The  mere 
circumstance  of  moistening  the  earth  from  within 
reach  of  the  roots,  would  not  be  sufficient  to  account 
for  the  vast  difference  between  the  crops  of  fields 


that  are  irrigated,  and  those  that  are  not.  One  day, 
in  the  middle  of  the  season  of  the  rains,  I  asked  mj 
gardener,  while  walking  with  him  over  my  grounds, 
how  it  was  that  some  of  the  fine  clusters  of  bamboos 
h£Cd  not  yet  begun  to  throw  out  their  shoots.  "  We 
have  not  yet  had  a  thunder-storm,  sir,"  replied  the 
gardener.  "What  in  the  name  of  God  has  the 
thunder-storm  to  do  with  the  shooting  of  the  bam- 
boos ?"  asked  I  in  amazement.  "  I  don't  know,  sir," 
said  he,  "  but  certain  it  is,  that  no  bamboos  begin  to 
throw  out  their  shoots  well  till  we  get  a  good  deal 
of  thunder  and  lightning."  The  thunder  and  light- 
ning came,  and  the  bamboo  shoots  soon  followed  in 
abundance.  It  might  have  been  a  mere  coincidence ; 
or  the  tall  bamboos  may  bring  down  from  the  pass- 
ing clouds  and  convey  to  the  roots  the  electric  fluid 
they  require  for  nourishment,  or  for  conductors  of 
nourishment.*  In  the  Isle  of  France,  people  have  a 
notion  that  the  mushrooms  always  come  up  best  after 
a  thunder-storm.  Electricity  has  certainly  much 
more  to  do  in  the  business  of  the  world  than  we  are 
yet  aware  of,  in  the  animal,  mineral,  and  vegetable 

At  our  ground  this  day,  I  met  a  very  re- 
spectable   and   intelligent    native    revenue    oflicer 

*  It  is  not  perhaps  generally  known,  though  it  deserves  to  be 
so,  that  the  bamboo  seeds  only  once,  and  dies  immediately  after 
seeding.  All  bamboos  from  the  same  seed  die  at  the  same  time, 
wherever  they  may  have  been  planted.  The  life  of  the  common 
large  bamboo  is  about  fifty  years. 

CHIEFS   AND    GODS.  27 

who  had  been  employed  to  settle  some  boundary 
disputes  between  the  yeoman  of  our  territory 
and  those  of  the  adjoining  territory  of  Dholepore. 
"  The  honourable  Company's  rights  and  those  of  its 
yeomen  must,"  said  he,  "  be  inevitably  sacrificed  in 
all  such  cases ;  for  the  Dholepore  chief,  or  his  minis- 
ter, says  to  all  their  witnesses,  '  You  are  of  course 
expected  to  speak  the  truth  regarding  the  land  in 
dispute ;  but,  by  the  sacred  stream  of  the  Ganges,  if 
you  speak  so  as  to  lose  this  estate  one  inch  of  it,  you 
lose  both  your  ears  !' — and  most  assuredly  would  they 
lose  them,"  continued  he,  "  if  they  were  not  to  swear 
most  resolutely,  that  all  the  land  in  question  be- 
longed to  Dholepore.  Had  I  the  same  power  to  cut 
off  the  ears  of  witnesses  on  our  side,  we  should  meet 
on  equal  terms.  Were  I  to  threaten  to  cut  them 
off  they  would  laugh  in  my  face."  There  was  much 
truth  in  what  the  poor  man  said,  for  the  Dholepore 
witnesses  always  make  it  appear  that  the  claims  of 
their  yeomen  are  just  and  moderate,  and  a  salutary 
dread  of  losing  their  ears  operates  no  doubt  very 
strongly.  The  threatened  punishment  of  the  prince 
is  quick,  while  that  of  the  gods,  however  just,  is  cer- 
tainly very  slow — "  ut  sit  magna,  tamen  certe  lenta 
ira  Deorum  est." 

On  the  1st  of  January,  1836,  we  went  on  sixteen 
miles  to  Agra,  and  when  within  about  six  miles  of 
the  city,  the  dome  and  minaret  of  the  Taj  opened 
upon  us  from  behind  a  small  grove  of  fruit  trees. 


close  by  us  on  the  side  of  the  road.  The  morning 
was  not  clear,  but  it  was  a  good  one  for  a  first  sight 
of  this  building,  which  appeared  larger  through  the 
dusty  haze  than  it  would  have  done  through  a  clear 
sky.  For  five  and  twenty  years  of  my  life  had  I 
been  looking  forward  to  the  sight  now  before  me. 
Of  no  building  on  earth  had  I  heard  so  much  as  of 
this,  which  contains  the  remains  of  the  Emperor 
Shah  Jehan,  and  his  wife ;  the  father  and  mother  of 
the  children,  whose  struggles  for  dominion  have  been 
already  described.  We  had  ordered  our  tents  to  be 
pitched  in  the  gardens  of  this  splendid  mausoleum, 
that  we  might  have  our  full  of  the  enjoyment  which 
everybody  seemed  to  derive  from  it ;  and  we  reached 
them  about  eight  o'clock.  I  went  over  the  whole 
building  before  I  entered  my  tent ;  and  from  the 
first  sight  of  the  dome  and  minarets  on  the  distant 
horizon,  to  the  last  glance  back  from  my  tent-ropes 
to  the  magnificent  gateway  that  forms  the  entrance 
from  our  camp  to  the  quadrangle  in  which  they 
stand,  I  can  truly  say  that  everything  surpassed  my 
expectations.  I  at  first  thought  the  dome  formed 
too  large  a  portion  of  the  whole  building ;  that  its 
neck  was  too  long  and  too  much  exposed ;  and  that 
the  minarets  were  too  plain  in  their  design ;  but 
after  going  repeatedly  over  every  part,  and  examining 
the  tout  ensemble  from  all  possible  positions,  and  in 
all  possible  lights,  from  that  of  the  full  moon  at  mid- 
night in  a  cloudless   sky,  to  that  of  the  noon-day 

'  % 



THE   TAJ.  29 

sun,  the  mind  seemed  to  repose  in  the  calm  per- 
suasion, that  there  was  an  entire  harmony  of  parts,  a 
faultless  congregation  of  architectural  beauties,  on 
which  it  could  dwell  for  ever  without  fatigue. 

After  my  quarter  of  a  century  of  anticipated 
pleasure,  I  went  on  from  part  to  part  in  the  expec- 
tation that  I  must  by-and-by  come  to  something 
that  would  disappoint  me;  but  no,  the  emotion 
which  one  feels  at  first  is  never  impaired :  on  the 
contrary,  it  goes  on  improving  from  the  first  coup 
d'ceil  of  the  dome  in  the  distance,  to  the  minute  in- 
spection of  the  last  flower  upon  the  screen  round 
the  tomb.  One  returns  and  returns  to  it  with  un- 
diminished pleasure;  and  though  at  every  return 
one's  attention  to  the  smaller  parts  becomes  less  and 
less,  the  pleasure  which  he  derives  from  the  contem- 
plation of  the  greater,  and  of  the  whole  collectively, 
seems  to  increase ;  and  he  leaves  it  with  a  feeling  of 
regret,  that  he  could  not  have  it  all  his  life  within 
his  reach  ;  and  of  assurance  that  the  image  of  what 
he  has  seen  can  never  be  obliterated  from  his  mind 
"  while  memory  holds  her  seat."  I  felt  that  it  was 
to  me  in  architecture  what  Kemble  and  his  sister, 
Mrs.  Siddons,  had  been  to  me  a  quarter  of  a  century 
before  in  acting,  something  that  must  stand  alone — 
something  that  I  should  never  cease  to  see  clearly  in 
my  mind's  eye,  and  yet  never  be  able  clearly  to 
describe  to  others. 

The  Emperor  and  his  Queen  lie  buried  side  by 
side  in  a  vault  beneath  the  building,  to  which  we 


descend  by  a  flight  of  steps.  Their  remains  are 
covered  by  two  slabs  of  marble ;  and  directly  over 
these  slabs,  upon  the  floor  above,  in  the  great  centre 
room  under  the  dome,  stand  two  other  slabs,  or  ceno- 
taphs, of  the  same  marble  exquisitely  worked  in 
mosaic.  Upon  that  of  the  Queen,  amid  wreaths  of 
flowers,  are  worked  in  black  letters  passages  from 
the  Koran ;  one  of  which,  at  the  end  facing  the  en^ 
trance,  terminates  with,  "  And  defend  us  from  the 
tribe  of  unbelievers ;"  that  very  tribe  which  are  now 
gathered  from  all  quarters  of  the  civilized  world,  to 
admire  the  splendour  of  the  tomb  which  was  raised 
to  perpetuate  her  name.''^  On  the  slab  over  her 
husband,  there  are  no  passages  from  the  Koran; 
merely  mosaic  work  of  flowers,  with  his  name,  and 
the  date  of  his  death.  I  asked  some  of  the  learned 
Mahomedan  attendants,  the  cause  of  this  difference  ; 
and  was  told,  that  Shah  Jehan  had  himself  designed 
the  slab  over  his  wife,  and  saw  no  harm  in  inscribing 
the  words  of  God  upon  it ;  but  that  the  slab  over 
himself  was  designed  by  his  more  pious  son,  Ouruijg- 
zebe,  who  did  not  think  it  right  to  place  these  holy 
words  upon  a  stone  which  the  foot  of  man  might 
some  day  touch,  though  that  stone  covered  the  re- 
mains of  his  own  father.f     Such  was  this  "  man  of 

*  No  European  had  ever  before,  I  believe,  noticed  this. 

t  The  Empress  had  been  a  good  deal  exasperated  against  the 
Portuguese  and  Dutch,  by  the  treatment  her  husband  received 
from  them  when  a  fugitive,  after  an  unsuccessful  rebellion  against 
his  father ;  and  her  hatred  to  them  extends,  in  some  degree,  to 

i^v- ■ -^•y-:i^?s^^ 




THE    TAJ.  31 

prayers,"  this  Nemazee,  as  Dara  called  him,  to  the 
last.  He  knew  mankind  well,  and  above  all  that 
part  of  them  which  he  was  called  upon  to  govern ; 
and  which  he  governed  for  forty  years  with  so  much 

'  The  slab  over  the  Queen  occupies  the  centre  of 
the  apartments  above,  and  in  the  vault  below,  and 
those  over  her  husband  lie  on  the  left  as  we  enter. 
At  one  end  of  the  slab  in  the  vault,  her  name  is  in- 
wrought, "Moontaj  i  mahul,  Ranoo  Begum,"  the 
ornament  of  the  palace,  Ranoo  Begum ;  and  the 
date  of  her  death,  1631.  That  of  her  husband  and 
the  date  of  his  death,  1666,  are  inwrought  upon  the 
other.  She  died  in  giving  birth  to  a  daughter,  who 
is  said  to  have  been  heard  crying  in  the  womb  by 
herself  and  her  other  daughters.  She  sent  for  the 
Emperor,  and  told  him,  "that  she  believed  no 
mother  had  ever  been  known  to  survive  the  birth  of 
a  child  so  heard,  and  that  she  felt  her  end  was  near. 
She  had,"  she  said,  "  only  two  requests  to  make  : 
first,  that  he  would  not  marry  again  after  her  death, 
and  get  children  to  contend  with  hers  for  his  favour 
and  dominions ;  and  secondly,  that  he  would  build 
for  her  the  tomb  with  which  he  had  promised  to 
perpetuate  her  name."  She  died  in  giving  birth  to 
the  child,  as  might  have  been  expected,  when  the 
Emperor  in  his  anxiety  called  all  the  midwives  of 
the  city,   and  all  his  secretaries  of  state  and  privy 

all  Christians,  whom  she  considered  to  be  included  in  the  term 
kajer,  or  unbeliever. 



counsellors  to  prescribe  for  her !  Both  her  dying 
requests  were  granted.  Her  tomb  was  commenced 
upon  immediately.  No  woman  ever  pretended  to 
supply  her  place  in  the  palace ;  nor  had  Shah  Jehan, 
that  we  know  of,  children  by  any  other.  Tavernier 
saw  this  building  commenced  and  finished ;  and  tells 
us,  that  it  occupied  twenty  thousand  men  for  twenty- 
two  years.  The  mausoleum  itself  and  all  the  build- 
ings that  appertain  to  it,  cost  8,17,48026,  three 
crore,  seventeen  lacks,  forty-eight  thousand  and 
tw^enty-six  rupees,  or  3,174,802  pounds  sterling ; — 
three  million,  one  hundred  and  seventy-four  thousand, 
eight  hundred  and  two !  I  asked  my  wife,  when 
she  had  gone  over  it,  what  she  thought  of  the  build- 
ing ?  "I  cannot,"  said  she,  "  tell  you  what  I  think, 
for  I  know  not  how  to  criticise  such  a  building,  but 
I  can  tell  you  what  I  feel.  I  would  die  to-morrow 
to  have  such  another  over  me !"  This  is  what  many 
a  lady  has  felt,  no  doubt. 

The  building  stands  upon  the  north  side  of  a  large 
quadrangle,  looking  down  into  the  clear  blue  stream 
of  the  river  Jumna,  while  the  other  three  sides  are 
enclosed  with  a  high  wall  of  red  sandstone.  The 
entrance  to  this  quadrangle  is  through  a  magnificent 
gateway  in  the  south  side  opposite  the  tomb ;  and  on 
the  other  two  sides  are  very  beautiful  mosques  facing 
inwards,  and  corresponding  exactly  with  each  other 
in  size,  design,  and  execution.  That  on  the  left  or 
west  side,  is  the  only  one  that  can  be  used  as  a 
mosque  or  church ;  because  the  faces  of  the  audience, 

THE   TAJ.  33 

and  those  of  all  men  at  their  prayers,  must  be  turned 
towards  the  tomb  of  their  prophet  to  the  west.  The 
pulpit  is  always  against  the  dead  wall  at  the  back, 
and  the  audience  face  towards  it,  standing  with  their 
backs  to  the  open  front  of  the  building.  The  church 
on  the  east  side  is  used  for  the  accommodation  of 
visitors,  or  for  any  secular  purpose ;  and  was  built 
merely  as  a  jowab  (answer)  to  the  real  one.  The 
whole  area  is  laid  out  in  square  parterres,  planted 
with  flowers  and  shrubs  in  the  centre,  and  with  fine 
trees,  chiefly  the  cypress,  all  round  the  borders, 
forming  an  avenue  to  every  road.  These  roads  are 
all  paved  with  slabs  of  freestone,  and  have,  running 
along  the  centre,  a  basin,  with  a  row  of  jets  d'eau  in 
the  middle  from  one  extremity  to  the  other.  These 
are  made  to  play  almost  every  evening,  when  the 
gardens  are  much  frequented  by  the  European 
gentlemen  and  ladies  of  the  station,  and  by  natives 
of  all  religions  and  sects.  The  quadrangle  is  from 
east  to  west  nine  hundred  and  sixty-four  feet ;  and 
from  north  to  south  three  hundred  and  twenty- 

The  mausoleum  itself,  the  terrace  upon  which  it 
stands,  and  the  minarets,  are  all  formed  of  the  finest 
white  marble  inlaid  with  precious  stones.  The  wall 
around  the  quadrangle,  including  the  river  face  of 
the  terrace,  is  made  of  red  sandstone,  with  cupolas 
and  pillars  of  the  same  white  marble.  The  inside 
of  the  churches  and  apartments  in  and  upon  the  walls 
are  all  lined  with  marble  or  with  stucco  work  that 

VOL.  II.  D 


looks  like  marble  ;  but  on  the  outside,  the  red  sand- 
stone resembles  uncovered  bricks.  The  dazzling 
white  marble  of  the  mausoleum  itself  rising  over  the 
red  wall,  is  apt,  at  first  sight,  to  make  a  disagreeable 
impression,  from  the  idea  of  a  whitewashed  head  to 
an  unfinished  building ;  but  this  impression  is  very 
soon  removed,  and  tends  perhaps  to  improve  that 
which  is  afterwards  received  from  a  nearer  inspec- 
tion. The  marble  was  all  brought  from  the  Jeypore 
territories  upon  wheeled  carriages,  a  distance,  I  be- 
lieve, of  two  or  three  hundred  miles;  and  the  sandstone 
from  the  neighbourhood  of  Dholepore  and  Futtehpore 
Secree.  Shah  Jehan  is  said  to  have  inherited  his  par- 
tiality for  this  colour  from  his  grandfather,  Akbar, 
who  constructed  almost  all  his  buildings  from  the  same 
stone,  though  he  might  have  had  the  beautiful  white 
freestone  at  the  same  cost.  What  was  figuratively 
said  of  Augustus  may  be  most  literally  said  of  Shah 
Jehan :  he  found  the  cities  (Agra  and  Delhi)  all 
brick,  and  left  them  all  marble ;  for  all  the  marble 
buildings,  and  additions  to  buildings,  were  formed  by 

This  magnificent  building  and  the  palaces  at  Agra 
and  Delhi  were,  I  believe,  designed  by  Austin  de 
Bordeux,  a  Frenchman  of  great  talent  and  merit,  in 
whose  ability  and  integrity  the  Emperor  placed  much 
reliance.  He  was  called  by  the  natives  Oostan  Eesau, 
Nadir  ol  Asur,  the  wonderful  of  the  age ;  and  for  his 
office  of  nuksha  nuwees,  or  plan  drawer,  he  received 
a  regular  salary  of  one  thousand  rupees  a  month. 


with  occasional  presents,  that  made  his  income  very 
larg-e.  He  had  finished  the  palace  of  Delhi,  and  the 
mausoleum  and  palace  of  Agra ;  and  was  engaged  in 
designing  a  silver  ceiling  for  one  of  the  galleries  in 
the  latter,  when  he  was  sent  by  the  Emperor  to 
settle  some  affairs  of  great  importance  at  Goa.  He 
died  at  Cochin  on  his  way  back ;  and  is  supposed  to 
have  been  poisoned  by  the  Portuguese,  who  were  ex- 
tremely jealous  of  his  influence  at  court.  He  left  a 
son  by  a  native,  called  Mahomed  Shureef,  who  was 
employed  as  an  architect  on  a  salary  of  five  hundred 
rupees  a  month,  and  who  became,  as  I  conclude  from 
his  name,  a  Mussulman.  Shah  Jehan  had  com- 
menced his  own  tomb  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
Jumna ;  and  both  were  to  have  been  united  by  a 
bridge.  The  death  of  Austin  de  Bordeux,  and  the 
wars  between  his  sons  that  followed,  prevented  the 
completion  of  these  magnificent  works.* 

We  were  encamped  upon  a  fine  green  sward  out- 
side the  entrance  to  the  south,  in  a  kind  of  large 
court,  enclosed  by  a  high  cloistered  wall,  in  which 
all  our  attendants  and  followers  found  shelter. 
Colonel  and  Mrs.  King,  and  some  other  gentlemen, 

*  I  would  not  be  thought  very  positive  upon  this  point.  I 
think  I  am  right,  but  feel  that  I  may  be  wrong.  Tavernier  says, 
that  Shah  Jehan  was  obliged  to  give  up  his  intention  of  com- 
pleting a  silver  ceiling  to  the  great  hall  in  the  palace,  because 
Austin  de  Bordeux  had  been  killed,  and  no  other  person  could 
venture  to  attempt  it.  Oostan  Eesau,  in  all  the  Persian  accounts 
stands  first  among  the  salaried  architects. 

D    2 


were  encamped  in  the  same  place,  and  for  the  same 
purpose ;  and  we  had  a  very  agreeable  party.  The 
band  of  our  friend  Major  Godby's  regiment  played 
sometimes  in  the  evening  upon  the  terrace  of  the 
Taj ;  but  of  all  the  complicated  music  ever  heard  upon 
earth,  that  of  a  flute  blown  gently  in  the  vault  below, 
where  the  remains  of  the  Emperor  and  his  consort 
repose,  as  the  sound  rises  to  the  dome  amidst  a  hun- 
dred arched  alcoves  around,  and  descends  in  heavenly 
reverberations  upon  those  who  sit  or  recline  upon 
the  cenotaphs  above  the  vault,  is  perhaps  the  finest 
to  an  inartificial  ear.  We  feel  as  if  it  were  from 
heaven,  and  breathed  by  angels ;  it  is  to  the  ear  what 
the  building  itself  is  to  the  eye ;  but  unhappily  it 
cannot,  like  the  building,  live  in  our  recollections. 
All  that  we  can,  in  after  life,  remember  is,  that  it 
was  heavenly,  and  produced  heavenly  emotions. 

We  went  all  over  the  palace  in  the  fort,  a  very 
magnificent  building  constructed  by  Shah  Jehan,  with- 
in fortifications  raised  by  his  grandfather  Akbar.  The 
fret-work  and  mosaic  upon  the  marble  pillars  and 
panels  are  equal  to  those  of  the  Taj,  or,  if  possible, 
superior ;  nor  is  the  design  or  execution  in  any  re- 
spect inferior,  and  yet  an  European  feels,  that  he 
could  get  a  house  much  more  commodious,  and  more 
to  his  taste,  for  a  much  less  sum  than  must  have  been 
expended  upon  it.  The  Marquis  of  Hastings,  when 
Governor-General  of  India,  broke  up  one  of  the  most 
beautiful  of  the  marble  baths  of  this  palace  to  send 
home    to   George    IV.    of    England,    then   Prince 


Regent ;  and  the  rest  of  the  marble  of  the  suite  of 
apartments  from  which  it  had  been  taken,  with  all 
its  exquisite  fret- work  and  mosaic,  was  afterwards 
sold  by  auction,  on  account  of  our  government,  by 
order  of  the  then  Governor-General,  Lord  W.  Ben- 
tinck.  Had  these  things  fetched  the  price  expected, 
it  is  probable  that  the  whole  of  the  palace,  and  even 
the  Taj  itself,  would  have  been  pulled  down,  and  sold 
in  the  same  manner. 

We  visited  the  Motee  Musjid,  or  pearl  mosque. 
It  was  built  by  Shah  Jehan,  entirely  of  white 
marble;  and  completed,  as  we  learn  from  an  in- 
scription on  the  portico,  in  the  year  a.  d.  1656. 
There  is  no  mosaic  upon  any  of  the  pillars  or 
panels  of  this  mosque ;  but  the  design  and  execu- 
tion of  the  flowers  in  bas-relief  are  exceedingly 
beautiful.  It  is  a  chaste,  simple,  and  majestic  build- 
ing ;  and  is  by  some  people  admired  even  more  than 
the  Taj,  because  they  have  heard  less  of  it;  and  their 
pleasure  is  heightened  by  surprise.  We  feel  that  it 
is  to  all  other  mosques,  what  the  Taj  is  to  all  other 
mausoleums,  2i  facile  princeps.  Few,  however,  go  to 
see  the  mosque  of  pearls  more  than  once,  stay  as 
long  as  they  will  at  Agra ;  and  when  they  go,  the 
building  appears  less  and  less  to  deserve  their  admi- 
ration, while  they  go  to  the  Taj  as  often  as  they  can, 
and  find  new  beauties  in  it,  or  new  feelings  of  plea- 
sure from  it,  every  time.* 

*  I  would,  however,  here  enter  my  humble  protest  against  the 
quadrille  and  tiffin  parties,  which  are  sometimes  given  to  the 


I  went  out  to  visit  the  tomb  of  the  Emperor 
Akbar,  at  Secundra,  a  magnificent  building,  raised 
over  him  by  his  son,  the  Emperor  Jehangeer.  His 
remains  lie  deposited  in  a  deep  vault  under  the 
centre,  and  are  covered  by  a  plain  slab  of  marble, 
without  fret- work  or  mosaic.  On  the  top  of  the 
building,  which  is  three  or  four  stories  high,  is  ano- 
ther marble  slab  corresponding  with  the  one  in  the 
vault  below.  This  is  beautifully  carved,  with  the 
"  Now  Nubbey  Nam" — the  ninety-nine  names  or  at- 
tributes of  the  Deity — from  the  Koran.  It  is  covered 
by  an  awning,  not  to  protect  the  tomb,  but  to  de- 
fend the  "  words  of  God''  from  the  rain,  as  my  cice- 
rone assured  me.  He  told  me  that  the  attendants 
upon  this  tomb  used  to  have  the  hay  of  the  large 
quadrangle  of  forty  acres,  in  which  it  stands,  in  ad- 
dition to  their  small  salaries,  and  that  it  yielded 
them  some  fifty  rupees  a  year ;  but  the  chief  native 
officer  of  the  Taj  establishment  demanded  half  of  the 
sum,  and  when  they  refused  to  give  him  so  much, 
he  persuaded  his  master,  the  European  engineer,  with 
much  difficulty,  to  take  all  this  hay  for  the  public 
cattle !     "  And  why  could  you  not  adjust    such  a 

European  ladies  and  gentlemen  of  the  station  at  this  imperial 
tomb  ;  drinking  and  dancing  are,  no  doubt,  very  good  things  in 
their  season,  even  in  a  hot  climate,  but  they  are  sadly  out  of 
place  in  a  sepulchre,  and  never  fail  to  shock  the  good  feelings  of 
sober-minded  people  when  given  there.  Good  church  music  gives 
us  great  pleasure,  without  exciting  us  to  dancing  or  drinking ;  the 
Taj  does  the  same,  at  least  to  the  sober-minded. 



AKBAR.  39 

matter  between  you,  without  pestering  the  engineer  ?" 
"  Is  not  this  the  way,"  said  he,  with  emotion,  "  that 
Hindoostan  has  cut  its  own  throat,  and  brought  in 
the  stranger  at  all  times  ?  Have  they  ever  had,  or 
can  they  ever  have,  confidence  in  each  other,  or  let 
each  other  alone  to  enjoy  the  little  they  have  in 
peace?"  Considering  all  the  circumstances  of  time 
and  place,  Akbar  has  always  appeared  to  me  among 
sovereigns,  what  Shakspeare  was  among  poets ;  and, 
feeling  as  a  citizen  of  the  world,  I  reverenced  the 
marble  slab  that  covers  his  bones,  more  perhaps  than 
I  should  that  over  any  other  sovereign  with  whose 
history  I  am  acquainted. 



NOOR    JEHAN,     THE     AUNT    OF    THE      EMPRESS    NOOR    MAHUL, 

I  CROSSED  over  the  river  Jumna  one  morning  to 
look  at  the  tomb  of  Etmad  od  Doulah,  the  most 
remarkable  mausoleum  in  the  neighbourhood,  after 
those  of  Akbar  and  the  Taj.  On  my  way  back,  I 
asked  one  of  the  boatmen,  who  was  rowing  me,  who 
had  built  what  appeared  to  me  a  new  dome  within 
the  fort. 

"  One  of  the  Emperors,  of  course,"  said  he. 

"  What  makes  you  think  so  ?" 

"  Because  such  things  are  made  only  by  Em- 
perors," replied  the  man  quietly,  without  relaxing  his 
pull  at  the  oar. 

"  True,  very  true  !"  said  an  old  Mussulman  trooper, 
with  large  white  whiskers  and  mustachios,  who  had 
dismounted  to  follow  me  across  the  river,  with  a 
melancholy  shake  of  the  head,  "  very  true  ;  who  but 
Emperors  could  do  such  things  as  these  ?" 

»l!iSMl'  .^ 

NOOR   JEHAN.  41 

Encouraged  by  the  trooper,  the  boatman  con- 
tinued :  "  The  Jats  and  the  Mahrattas  did  nothing 
but  pull  do\\Ti  and  destroy,  while  they  held  their 
accursed  dominion  here ;  and  the  European  gentle- 
men, who  now  govern,  seem  to  have  no  pleasure  in 
building  anything  but  factories^  courts  of  justice,  and 

Feeling  as  an  Englishman,  as  we  all  must  some- 
times do,  be  where  we  will,  I  could  hardly  help 
wishing  that  the  beautiful  panels  and  pillars  of  the 
bath-room  had  fetched  a  better  price,  and  that 
palace,  Taj,  and  all  at  Agra,  had  gone  to  the  ham- 
mer— so  sadly  do  they  exalt  the  past,  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  present,  in  the  imaginations  of  the 
people ! 

The  tomb  contains,  in  the  centre,  the  remains  of 
Khwaja  Aeeas,  one  of  the  most  prominent  characters 
of  the  reign  of  Jehangeer,  and  those  of  his  wife.  The 
remains  of  the  other  members  of  his  family  repose  in 
rooms  all  round  them ;  and  are  covered  with  slabs 
of  marble  richly  cut.  It  is  an  exceedingly  beautiful 
building ;  but  a  great  part  of  the  most  valuable 
stones  of  the  mosaic  work  have  been  picked  out  and 
stolen  ;  and  the  whole  is  about  to  be  sold  by  auction, 
by  a  decree  of  the  civil  court,  to  pay  the  debt  of  the 
present  proprietor,  who  is  entirely  unconnected  with 
the  family  whose  members  repose  under  it,  and 
especially  indifferent  as  to  what  becomes  of  their 
bones.  The  building  and  garden  in  which  it  stands 
were,  some  sixty  years  ago,  given  away,  I  believe,  by 


Nujeef  Khan,  the  prime  minister,  to  one  of  his 
nephews,  to  whose  family  it  still  belongs.  Khwaja 
Aeeas,  a  native  of  western  Tartary,  left  that  country 
for  India,  where  he  had  some  relations  at  the  impe- 
rial court,  who  seemed  likely  to  be  able  to  secure 
his  advancement.  He  was  a  man  of  handsome  per- 
son, and  of  good  education  and  address.  He  set  out 
with  his  wife,  a  bullock,  and  a  small  sum  of  money, 
which  he  realized  by  the  sale  of  all  his  other  pro- 
perty. The  wife,  who  was  pregnant,  rode  upon  the 
bullock,  while  he  walked  by  her  side.  Their  stock 
of  money  had  become  exhausted,  and  they  had  been 
three  days  without  food  in  the  great  desert,  when 
she  was  taken  in  labour,  and  gave  birth  to  a  daughter. 
The  mother  could  hardly  keep  her  seat  on  the  bullock, 
and  the  father  had  become  too  much  exhausted  to 
afford  her  any  support ;  and  in  their  distress  they 
agreed  to  abandon  the  infant.  They  covered  it  over 
with  leaves,  and  towards  evening  pursued  their 
journey.  When  they  had  gone  on  about  a  mile,  and 
had  lost  sight  of  the  solitary  shrub  under  which  they 
had  left  their  child,  the  mother,  in  an  agony  of  grief, 
threw  herself  from  the  bullock  upon  the  ground,  ex- 
claiming, "  My  child,  my  child  !"  Aeeas  could  not 
resist  this  appeal.  He  went  back  to  the  spot,  took 
up  his  child,  and  brought  it  to  its  mother  s  breast. 
Some  traveller  soon  after  came  up  and  relieved  their 
distress,  and  they  reached  Lahore,  where  the  Em- 
peror Akbar  then  held  his  court. 

Asuf  Khan,  a  distant  relation  of  Aeeas,  held  a 

NOOR   JEHAN.  43 

high  place  at  court,  and  was  much  in  the  confidence 
of  the  Emperor.  He  made  his  kinsman  his  private 
secretary.  Much  pleased  with  his  diligence  and  abi- 
lity, Asuf  soon  brought  his  merits  to  the  special  no- 
tice of  Akbar,  who  raised  him  to  the  command  of  a 
thousand  horse,  and  soon  after  appointed  him  master 
of  the  household.  From  this  he  was  promoted  after- 
wards to  that  of  Etmad  od  Doulah,  or  high  treasurer, 
one  of  the  first  ministers.  The  daughter,  who  had 
been  born  in  the  desert,  became  celebrated  for  her 
great  beauty,  parts,  and  accomplishments,  and  won 
the  affections  of  the  eldest  son  of  the  Emperor,  the 
prince  Saleem,  who  saw  her  unveiled,  by  accident,  at 
a  party  given  by  her  father.  She  had  been  betrothed 
before  this  to  Shere  Afgun,  a  Toorkaman  gentleman 
of  rank  at  court,  and  of  great  repute  for  his  high 
spirit,  strength,  and  courage.  Saleem  in  vain  en- 
treated his  father  to  interpose  his  authority  to  make 
him  resign  his  claim  in  his  favour ;  and  she  became 
the  wife  of  Shere  Afgun.  Saleem  dared  not,  during 
his  father's  life,  make  any  open  attempt  to  revenge 
himself;  but  he,  and  those  courtiers  who  thought  it 
their  interest  to  worship  the  rising  sun,  soon  made 
his  residence  at  the  capital  disagreeable,  and  he  re- 
tired with  his  wife  to  Bengal,  where  he  obtained 
from  the  governor  the  superintendency  of  the  district 
of  Burdwan. 

Saleem  succeeded  his  father  on  the  throne ;  and 
no  longer  restrained  by  his  rigid  sense  of  justice,  he 
recalled  Shere  Afgun  to  court  at  Delhi.     He  was 



promoted  to  high  offices,  and  concluded  that  time 
had  erased  from  the  Emperor's  mind  all  feelings  of 
love  for  his  wife,  and  of  resentment  against  his  suc- 
cessful rival — but  he  was  mistaken :  Saleem  had  never 
forgiven  him,  nor  had  the  desire  to  possess  his  wife  at 
all  diminished.  A  Mahomedan  of  such  high  feeling 
and  station  would,  the  Emperor  knew,  never  survive 
the  dishonour,  or  suspected  dishonour,  of  his  wife ; 
and  to  possess  her  he  must  make  away  with  the  hus- 
band. He  dared  not  do  this  openly,  because  he 
dreaded  the  universal  odium  in  which  he  knew  it 
would  involve  him ;  and  he  made  several  unsuccess- 
ful attempts  to  get  him  removed,  by  means  that 
might  not  appear  to  have  been  contrived  or  executed 
by  his  orders.  At  one  time  he  designedly,  in  his 
own  presence,  placed  him  in  a  situation  where  the 
pride  of  the  chief  made  him  contend,  single  handed, 
with  a  large  tiger,  which  he  killed ;  and  at  another 
with  a  mad  elephant,  whose  probosces  he  cut  off 
with  his  sword ;  but  the  Emperor's  motives  in  all 
these  attempts  to  put  him  foremost  in  situations 
of  danger,  became  so  manifest,  that  Shore  Afgun  so- 
licited, and  obtained  permission,  to  retire  with  his 
wife  to  Bengal. 

The  governor  of  this  province,  Kutub,  having  been 
made  acquainted  with  the  Emperor's  desire  to  have 
the  chief  made  away  with,  hired  forty  ruffians,  who 
stole  into  his  house  one  night.  There  happened  to 
be  nobody  else  in  the  house ;  but  one  of  the  party, 
touched  by  remorse  on  seeing  so  fine  a  man  about  to 


be  murdered  in  his  sleep,  called  out  to  him  to  defend 
himself.     He  seized  his  sword,  placed  himself  in  one 
corner  of  the  room,  and  defended  himself  so  well, 
that  nearly  one-half  of  the  party  are  said  to  have  been 
killed  or  wounded.     The  rest  all  made  off,  persuaded 
that  he  was  endowed  with  supernatural  force.    After 
this  escape  he  retired  from  Tanda,  the  capital  of 
Bengal,  to  his  old  residence  of  Burdwan.    Soon  after 
Kutub  came  to  the  city  with  a  splendid  retinue,  on 
the  pretence  of  making  his  tour  of  inspection  through 
the  provinces  under  his  charge,  but,  in  reality,  for 
the  sole  purpose  of  making  away  with  Shere  Afgun, 
who,  as  soon  as  he  heard  of  his  approach,  came  out 
some  miles  to  meet  him  on  horseback,  attended  by 
only  two  followers.     He  was  received  with  marks  of 
great  consideration,  and  he  and  the  governor  rode  on 
for  some  time  side  by  side,  talking  of  their  mutual 
friends,  and  the  happy  days  they  had  spent  together 
at  the  capital.  At  last,  as  they  were  about  to  enter  the 
city,  the  governor  suddenly  called  for  his  elephant  of 
state,  and  mounted,  saying,  "  it  would  be  necessary 
for  him  to  pass  through  the  city,  on  the  first  visit,  in 
some   state."      Shere   sat   on  horseback    while    he 
mounted,  but  one  of  the  governor's  pikemen  struck 
his   horse,  and   began  to   drive  him    before  them. 
Shere  drew  his  sword,  and  seeing  all  the  governor  s 
followers  with  their's  ready  drawn  to  attack  him,  he 
concluded  at  once  that  the   aftront  had  been  put 
upon  him  by  the  orders  of  Kutub,  and  with  the  de- 
sign to  provoke  him  to  an  unequal  fight.     Deter- 


mined  to  have  his  life  first,  he  spurred  his  horse 
upon  the  elephant,  and  killed  Kutub  with  his  spear. 
He  now  attacked  the  principal  officers,  and  five  noble- 
men of  the  first  rank  fell  by  his  sword.  All  the 
crowd  now  rolled  back,  and  formed  a  circle  round 
Shere  and  his  two  companions,  and  galled  them 
with  arrows  and  musket-balls  from  a  distance.  His 
horse  fell  under  him  and  expired ;  and  having  re- 
ceived six  balls  and  several  arrows  in  his  body,  Shere 
himself  at  last  fell  exhausted  to  the  ground ;  and  the 
crowd,  seeing  the  sword  drop  from  his  grasp,  rushed 
in  and  cut  him  to  pieces. 

His  widow  was  sent,  "  nothing  loth,"  to  court,  with 
her  only  child,  (a  daughter.)  She  was  graciously  re- 
ceived by  the  Emperor's  mother,  and  had  apartments 
assigned  her  in  the  palace ;  but  the  Emperor  him- 
self is  said  not  to  have  seen  her  for  four  years,  during 
which  time  the  fame  of  her  beauty,  talents,  and  ac- 
complishments, filled  the  palace  and  city.  After  the 
expiration  of  this  time,  the  feelings,  whatever  they 
were,  which  prevented  his  seeing  her  subsided  ;  and 
when  he  at  last  surprised  her  with  a  visit,  he  found 
her  to  exceed  all  that  his  imagination  had  painted 
her  since  their  last  separation.  In  a  few  days  their 
marriage  was  celebrated  with  great  magnificence ; 
and  from  that  hour  the  Emperor  resigned  the  reins 
of  government  almost  entirely  into  her  hands ;  and 
till  his  death,  under  the  name  first  of  Noor  Ma- 
hul,  light  of  the  palace,  and  afterwards  of  Noor 
Jehan,  light  of  the  world,  she  ruled  the  destinies  of 


NOOR   JEHAN.  47 

this  great  empire.  Her  father  was  now  raised  from 
the  station  of  high  treasurer  to  that  of  prime  minis- 
ter. Her  two  brothers  obtained  the  titles  of  Asuf  Jah 
and  IlkadKhan;  and  the  relations  of  the  family  poured 
in  from  Tartary,  in  search  of  employment,  as  soon  as 
they  heard  of  their  success.  Noor  Jehan  had  by 
Shere  Afgun,  as  I  have  stated,  one  daughter ;  but 
she  had  never  any  child  by  the  Emperor  Jehan- 

Asuf  Jah  became  prime  minister  on  the  death  of 
his  father ;  and,  in  spite  of  his  sister,  he  managed  to 
secure  the  crown  to  Shah  Jehan,  the  third  son  of 
Jehangeer,  who  had  married  his  daughter,  the  lady 
over  whose  remains  the  Taj  was  afterwards  built. 
Jehangeer's  eldest  son,  Khosroo,  had  his  eyes  put  out 
by  his  father's  orders,  for  repeated  rebellions  to  which 
he  had  been  instigated  by  a  desire  to  revenge  his 
mother's  murder,  and  by  the  ambition  of  her  brother, 
the  Hindoo  prince  Man  Sing,  who  wished  to  see  his 
own  nephew  upon  the  throne;  and  by  his  wife's 
father,  the  prime  minister  of  Akbar,  Khan  Azim.  Noor 
Jehan  had  invited  the  mother  of  Khosroo,  the  sister 
of  Rajah  Man  Sing,  to  look  with  her  down  a  well  in 
the  courtyard  of  her  apartments  by  moonlight ;  and 
as  she  did  so  she  threw  her  in.  As  soon  as  she  saw 
that  she  had  ceased  to  struggle  she  gave  the  alarm, 
and  pretended  that  she  had  fallen  in  by  accident. 
By  the  murder  of  the  mother  of  the  heir  apparent, 
she  expected  to  secure  the  throne  to  a  creature  of 
her  own.     Khosroo  was  treated  with  great  kindness 


by  his  father,  after  he  had  been  barbarously  deprived 
of  his  sight ;  but  when  his  brother,  Shah  Jehan,  was 
appointed  to  the  government  of  southern  India,  he 
pretended  great  solicitude  about  the  comforts  of  his 
poor  blind  brother,  which  he  thought  would  not  be 
attended  to  at  court,  and  took  him  with  him  to  his 
government  in  the  Deccan,  where  he  got  him  as- 
sassinated, as  the  only  sure  mode  of  securing  the 
throne  to  himself.  Purwez,  the  second  son,  died  a 
natural  death,  so  also  did  his  only  son ;  and  so  also 
Daneeal,  the  fourth  son  of  the  Emperor.  Noor 
Jehan's  daughter,  by  Shore  Afgun,  had  married 
Shahreear,  a  young  son  of  the  Emperor,  by  a  con- 
cubine ;  and  just  before  his  death,  he,  at  the  instiga- 
tion of  Noor  Jehan,  named  this  son  as  his  successor 
in  his  will.  He  was  placed  upon  the  throne,  and  put 
in  possession  of  the  treasury,  and  at  the  head  of  a 
respectable  army ;  but  the  Empress'  brother,  Asuf, 
designed  the  throne  for  his  own  son-in-law,  Shah 
Jehan ;  and  as  soon  as  the  Emperor  died,  he  put  up 
as  a  puppet,  to  amuse  the  people  till  he  could  come 
up  with  his  army  from  the  Deccan,  Bolakee,  the 
eldest  son  of  the  deceased  Khosroo.  Shahreear's 
troops  were  defeated;  he  was  taken  prisoner,  and 
had  his  eyes  put  out  forthwith ;  and  the  Empress 
was  put  into  close  confinement.  As  Shah  Jehan  ap- 
proached Lahore  with  his  army,  Asuf  put  his  puppet, 
Bolakee,  and  his  younger  brother,  with  the  two 
young  sons  of  Daneeal,  into  prison,  where  they  were 
strangled  by  a  messenger  sent  on  for  the  purpose  by 


Shah  Jehan,  under  the  sanction  of  Asuf.  This 
measure  left  no  male  heir  alive  of  the  house  of 
Tamerlane  in  Hindoostan,  save  Shah  Jehan  him- 
self, and  his  four  sons.  Dara  was  then  thirteen 
years  of  age,  Shoojah  twelve,  Ourungzebe  ten,  and 
Moorad  four ;  and  all  were  present,  to  learn  from  their 
father  this  sad  lesson,  that  such  of  them  who  might  be 
alive  on  his  death,  save  one,  must,  with  their  sons, 
be  hunted  down  and  destroyed  like  mad  dogs,  lest 
they  might  get  into  the  hands  of  the  disaffected,  and 
be  made  the  tools  of  faction.  Monsieur  de  Thevenot, 
who  visited  Agra,  as  I  have  before  stated,  in  1666, 
says,  "  Some  affirm  that  there  are  twenty-five  thou- 
sand christian  families  in  Agra ;  but  all  do  not  agree 
in  that.  The  Dutch  have  a  factory  in  the  town,  but 
the  English  have  now  none,  because  it  did  not  turn 
to  account."  The  number  must  have  been  great,  or 
so  sober  a  man  as  Monsieur  Thevenot  would  not 
have  thought  such  an  estimate  w^orthy  to  be  quoted 
without  contradiction.  They  were  all,  except  those 
connected  with  the  single  Dutch  factory,  maintained 
from  the  salaries  of  office ;  and  they  gradually  disap- 
peared as  their  offices  became  filled  with  Mahomedans 
and  Hindoos.  The  duties  of  the  artillery,  its  arsenals, 
and  foundries,  were  the  chief  foundation  upon  which 
the  superstructure  of  Christianity  then  stood  in  India. 
These  duties  were  everywhere  entrusted  exclusively 
to  Europeans,  and  all  Europeans  were  Christians,  and 
under  Shah  Jehan  permitted  freely  to  follow  their 
own  modes  of  worship.      They  were,    too,  Roman 

VOL.    II.  E 


Catholics,  and  spent  the  greater  part  of  their  in- 
comes in  the  maintenance  of  priests.  But  they  could 
never  forget  that  they  were  strangers  in  the  land,  and 
held  their  offices  upon  a  precarious  tenure ;  and,  con- 
sequently, they  never  felt  disposed  to  expend  the  little 
wealth  they  had  in  raising  durable  tombs,  churches, 
and  other  public  buildings,  to  tell  posterity  who  or 
what  they  were.  Present  physical  enjoyment,  and 
the  prayers  of  their  priests  for  a  good  berth  in  the 
next  world,  were  the  only  objects  of  their  ambition. 
Mahomedans  and  Hindoos  soon  learned  to  perform 
duties  which  they  saw  bring  to  the  Christians  so 
much  of  honour  and  emolument ;  and  as  they  did  so, 
they  necessarily  sapped  the  walls  of  the  fabric. 
Christianity  never  became  independent  of  office  in 
India,  and  I  am  afraid  never  will :  even  under  our 
rule  it  still  mainly  rests  upon  that  foundation. 



FATHER  Gregory's  notion  of  the  impediments  to  con- 


Father  Gregory,  the  Roman  Catholic  priest, 
dined  with  us  one  evening,  and  Major  Godby  took 
occasion  to  ask  him  at  table,  "  What  progress  our  re- 
ligion was  making  among  the  people?" 

"  Progress !"  said  he  ;  "  why  what  progress  can  we 
ever  hope  to  make  among  a  people,  who,  the  moment 
we  begin  to  talk  to  them  about  the  miracles  per- 
formed by  Christ,  begin  to  tell  us  of  those  infinitely 
more  wonderful  performed  by  Krishna,  who  lifted 
a  mountain  upon  his  little  finger,  as  an  umbrella,  to 
defend  his  shepherdesses,  at  Gwerdham,  from  a 
shower  of  rain." 

The  Hindoos  never  doubt  any  part  of  the  miracles 
and  prophecies  of  our  scripture — they  believe  every 
word  of  them ;  and  the  only  thing  that  surprises  them 
is,  that  they  should  be  so  much  less  wonderfiil  than 

E  2 


those  of  their  own  scriptures,  in  which  also  they  impli- 
citly believe.  Men  who  believe  that  the  histories  of 
the  wars  and  amours  of  Ram  and  Krishna,  two  of  the 
incarnations  of  Vishnoo,  were  written  some  fifty 
thousand  years  before  these  wars  and  amours  actually 
took  place  upon  the  earth,  would  of  course  easily  be- 
lieve in  the  fulfilment  of  any  prophecy  that  might  be 
related  to  them  out  of  any  other  book ;  and,  as  to 
miracles,  there  is  absolutely  nothing  too  extraordi- 
nary for  their  belief.  If  a  Christian  of  respectability 
were  to  tell  a  Hindoo,  that,  to  satisfy  some  scruples 
of  the  Corinthians,  St.  Paul  had  brought  the  sun  and 
moon  down  upon  the  earth,  and  made  them  rebound 
off  again  into  their  places,  like  tennis  balls,  without 
the  slightest  injury  to  any  of  the  three  planets,  I  do 
not  think  he  would  feel  the  slightest  doubt  of  the  truth 
of  it ;  but  he  would  immediately  be  put  in  mind  of 
something  still  more  extraordinary  that  Krishna  did 
to  amuse  the  milk-maids,  or  to  satisfy  some  sceptics 
of  his  day,  and  relate  it  with  all  the  naivete  ima- 

I  saw  at  Agra,  Mirza  Kam  Buksh,  the  eldest  son 
of  Sooleeman  Shekoh,  the  eldest  son  of  the  brother 
of  the  present  Emperor.  He  had  spent  a  season  with 
us  at  Jubbulpore,  while  prosecuting  his  claim  to  an 
estate  against  the  Rajah  of  Rewah.  The  Emperor, 
Shah  Alum,  in  his  flight  before  our  troops  from 
Bengal,  1762,  struck  off  the  high  road  to  Delhi,  at 
Mirzapore,  and  came  down  to  Rewah,  where  he 
found  an  asylum  during  the  season  of  the  rains  with 


the  Rewah  Rajah,  who  assigned  for  his  residence  the 
village  of  Mukunpore.     His  wife,  the  empress,  was 
here  delivered  of  a  son,  the  present  Emperor  of  Hin- 
doostan,  Akbar  Shah ;  and  the  Rajah  assigned  to 
him  and  to  his  heirs  for  ever  the  fee  simple  of  this 
village.    As  the  members  of  this  family  increased  in 
geometrical  ratio,  under  the  new  system,  which  gave 
them  plenty  to  eat  with  nothing  to  do,  the  Emperor 
had  of  late  been  obliged  to  hunt  round  for  little  ad- 
ditions to  his  income ;  and  in  his  search  he  found 
that  the  village  of  Mukunpore  gave  name  to  a  per- 
gunnah,  or  little  district,  of  which  it  was  the  capital ; 
and  that  a  good  deal  of  merchandize  passed  through 
this  district,  and  paid  heavy  duties  to  the  Rajah. 
"  Nothing,"  he  thought,  "  would  be  lost  by  trying  to 
get  the  whole  district  instead  of  the  village  ;"  and  for 
this  purpose  he  sent  down  Kam  Buksh,  the  ablest 
man  of  the  whole  family,  to  urge  and  prosecute  his 
claim ;  but  the  Rajah  was  a  close,  shrewd  man,  and 
not  to  be  done  out  of  his  revenue,  and  Kam  Buksh 
was  obliged  to  return  minus  some  thousand  rupees, 
which  he  had  spent  in  attempting  to  keep  up  ap- 

The  best  of  us  Europeans  feel  our  deficiencies  in 
conversation  with  Mahomedans  of  high  rank  and 
education,  when  we  are  called  upon  to  talk  upon 
subjects  beyond  the  every-day  occurrences  of  life* 
A  Mahomedan  gentleman  of  education  is  tolerably 
well  acquainted  with  astronomy  as  it  was  taught  by 
Ptolemy ;  with  the  logic  and  ethics  of  Aristotle  and 


Plato,  with  the  works  of  Hippocrates  and  Galen, 
through  those  of  Avacenna,  or  as  they  call  him, 
Booalee  Shena ;  and  he  is  very  capable  of  talking 
upon  all  subjects  of  philosophy,  literature,  science, 
and  the  arts,  and  very  much  inclined  to  do  so,  and 
of  understanding  the  nature  of  the  improvements 
that  have  been  made  in  them  in  modern  times.  But, 
however  capable  we  may  feel  of  discussing  these 
subjects,  or  explaining  these  improvements  in  our 
own  language,  we  all  feel  ourselves  very  much  at  a 
loss  when  we  attempt  to  do  it  in  theirs.  Perhaps" 
few  Europeans  have  mixed  and  conversed  more 
freely  with  all  classes  than  I  have ;  and  yet  1  feel 
myself  sadly  deficient  when  I  enter,  as  I  often  do, 
into  discussions  with  Mahomedan  gentlemen  of  edu- 
cation, upon  the  subject  of  the  character  of  the  go- 
vernments and  institutions  of  different  countries — 
their  effects  upon  the  character  and  condition  of  the 
people ;  the  arts  and  the  sciences  ;  the  faculties  and 
operations  of  the  human  mind ;  and  the  thousand 
other  things  which  are  subjects  of  every  day  con- 
versation among  educated  and  thinking  men  in  our 
own  country.  I  feel  that  they  could  understand  me 
quite  well  if  I  could  find  words  for  my  ideas ;  but 
these  I  cannot  find,  though  their  languages  abound 
in  them ;  nor  have  I  ever  met  the  European  gentle- 
man who  could.  East  Indians  can ;  but  they  com- 
monly want  the  ideas  as  much  as  we  want  the  lan- 
guage. The  chief  cause  of  this  deficiency  is  the 
want  of  sufficient  intercourse  with  men  in  whose 


presence  we  should  be  ashamed  to  appear  ignorant — 
this  is  the  great  secret,  and  all  should  know  and  ac- 
knowledge it ! 

We  are  not  ashamed  to  convey  our  orders  to  our 
native  servants  in  a  barbarous  language.  Military 
officers  seldom  speak  to  their  Sepahees  and  native 
officers  about  anything  but  arms,  accoutrements,  and 
drill;  or  to  other  natives  about  anything  but  the 
sports  of  the  field ;  and  as  long  as  they  are  under- 
stood, they  care  not  one  straw  in  what  language  they 
express  themselves.  The  conversation  of  the  civil 
servants  with  their  native  officers  takes  sometimes  a 
wider  range ;  but  they  have  the  same  philosophical 
indifference  as  to  the  language  in  which  they  attempt 
to  convey  their  ideas ;  and  I  have  heard  some  of  our 
highest  diplomatic  characters  talking,  without  the 
slightest  feeling  of  shame  or  embarrassment,  to  native 
princes  on  the  most  ordinary  subjects  of  every  day's 
interest,  in  a  language  which  no  human  being  but 
themselves  could  understand.  We  shall  remain  the 
same  till  some  change  of  system  inspire  us  with 
stronger  motives  to  please  and  conciliate  the  edu- 
cated classes  of  the  native  community.  They  may 
be  reconciled,  but  they  can  never  be  charmed  out  of 
their  prejudices  or  the  errors  of  their  preconceived 
opinions  by  such  language  as  the  European  gentle- 
men are  now  in  the  habit  of  speaking  to  them.  We 
must  learn  their  language  better,  or  we  must  teach 
them  our  own,  before  we  can  venture  to  introduce 
among   them   those  free    institutions   which  would 



oblige  us  to  meet  them  on  equal  terms  at  the  bar, 
on  the  bench,  and  in  the  senate  !  Perhaps  two  of 
the  best  secular  works  that  were  ever  written  upon 
the  faculties  and  operations  of  the  human  mind,  and 
the  duties  of  men  in  their  relations  with  each  other, 
are  those  of  Imamod  Deen,  Ghuzzalee,  and  Nuseerod 
Deen,  of  Thons.  Their  idol  was  Plato,  but  their 
works  are  of  a  more  practical  character  than  his,  and 
less  dry  than  those  of  Aristotle. 

I  may  here  mention  the  following  among  many 
instances  that  occur  to  me  of  the  amusing  mistakes 
into  which  Europeans  are  liable  to  fall  in  their 
conversation  with  natives. 

Mr.  J.  W n,  of  the  Bengal  civil  service,  com- 
monly known  by   the  name  of  Bean  W ,  was 

the  honourable  Company's  opium  agent  at  Patna, 
when  I  arrived  at  Dinapore,  to  join  my  regiment,  in 
1810.  He  had  a  splendid  house,  and  lived  in  excel- 
lent style ;  and  was  never  so  happy  as  when  he  had 
a  dozen  young  men  from  the  Dinapore  cantonments 
living  with  him.  He  complained  that  year,  as  I  was 
told,  that  he  had  not  been  able  to  save  more  than 
one  hundred  thousand  rupees  that  season  out  of  his 
salary  and  commission  upon  the  opium,  purchased  by 
the  government  from  the  cultivators.  The  members 
of  the  civil  service,  in  the  other  branches  of  public 
service,  were  all  anxious  to  have  it  believed  by  their 
countrymen,  that  they  were  well  acquainted  with 
their  duties,  and  able  and  walling  to  perform  them  ; 
but  the  honourable  Company's  commercial  agents 


were,  on  the  contrary,  generally  anxious  to  make 
their  countrymen  believe  that  they  neither  knew  nor 
cared  anything  about  their  duties,  because  they  were 
ashamed  of  them.  They  were  sinecure  posts  for  the 
drones  of  the  service,  or  for  those  who  had  great  in- 
terest and  no  capacity.     Had  any  young  man  made 

it  appear  that  he  really  thought  W n  knew  or 

cared  anything  about  his  duties,  he  would  certainly 
never  have  been  invited  to  his  house  again ;  and  if 
any  one  really  knew,  certainly  no  one  seemed  to  know, 
that  he  had  any  other  duty  than  that  of  entertaining 
his  guests  ! 

No  man  ever  spoke  the  native  language  so  badly, 
because  no  man  had  ever  so  little  intercourse  with 
the  natives ;  and  it  was,  I  have  been  told,  to  his 
ignorance  of  the  native  languages,  that  his  bosom 

friend,  Mr.  P st,  owed  his  life  on  one  occasion. 

W.  sat  by  the  sick  bed  of  his  friend  with  unwearied 
attention,  for  some  days  and  nights,  after  the  doctors 
had  declared  his  case  entirely  hopeless.  He  proposed 
at  last  to  try  change  of  air,  and  take  him  on  the  river 
Ganges.  The  doctors,  thinking  that  he  might  as 
well  die  in  his  boat  on  the  river,  as  in  his  house  in 
Calcutta,  consented  to  his  taking  him  on  board. 
They  got  up  as  far  as  Hoogly,  when  P.  said  that 
he  felt  better,  and  thought  he  could  eat  something. 
What  should  it  be?  A  little  roasted  kid  perhaps. 
The  very  thing  that  he  was  longing  for  !  W.  went 
out  upon  the  deck  to  give  orders  for  the  kid,  that  his 
friend  might  not  be  disturbed  by  the  gruff  voice  of 


the  old  "  Khansama,"  (butler.)  P.  heard  the  con- 
versation, however.  "  Khansama,"  said  the  Bean  W., 
"  you  know  that  my  friend  Mr.  P.  is  very  ill?" 

"  Yes,  sir." 

"  And  that  he  has  not  eaten  anything  for  a 

"  A  long  time  for  a  man  to  fast,  sir." 

"  Yes,  Khansama,  and  his  stomach  is  now  become 
very  delicate,  and  could  not  stand  anything  strong." 

"  Certainly  not,  sir." 

"  Well,  Khansama,  then  he  has  taken  a  fancy  to 
a  roasted  mare,''  (Murdwan,)  meaning  a  Hulwan,  or 

"  A  roasted  mare,  sir  !" 

"  Yes,  Khansama,  a  roasted  mare,  which  you  must 
have  nicely  prepared." 

«  What  the  whole,  sir?" 

"  Not  the  whole  at  one  time ;  but  have  the  whole 
ready,  as  there  is  no  knowing  what  part  he  may  like 

The  old  butler  had  heard  of  the  Tartars  eating 
their  horses  when  in  robust  health,  but  the  idea  of  a 
sick  man,  not  able  to  move  in  his  bed  without  as- 
sistance, taking  a  fancy  to  a  roasted  mare,  quite 
staggered  him. 

"  But,  sir,  I  may  not  be  able  to  get  such  a  thing 
as  a  mare  at  so  short  a  notice ;  and  if  I  get  her  she 
will  be  very  dear." 

"  Never  mind,  Khansama,  get  you  the  mare,  cost 
what  she  will ;   if  she  costs  a  thousand  rupees  my 

A    ROASTED    MARE.  59 

friend  shall  have  her  !  He  has  taken  a  fancy  to  the 
mare,  and  the  mare  he  shall  have,  if  she  cost  a  thou- 
sand rupees !" 

The  butler  made  his  salaam,  said  he  would  do  his 
best,  and  took  his  leave,  requesting  that  the  boats 
might  be  kept  at  the  bank  of  the  river  till  he  came 

W.  went  into  his  sick  friend,  who,  with  great  dif- 
ficulty, managed  to  keep  his  countenance  while  he 
complained  of  the  liberties  old  servants  were  in  the 
habit  of  taking  with  their  masters.  "  They  think 
themselves  privileged,"  said  W.,  "  to  conjure  up  dif- 
ficulties in  the  way  of  everything  that  one  wants  to 
have  done." 

"  Yes,"  said  P st,  "  we  like  to  have  old  and 

faithful  servants  about  us,  particularly  when  we  are 
sick ;  but  they  are  apt  to  take  liberties,  which  new 
ones  will  not." 

In  about  two  hours,  the  butler's  approach  was  an- 
nounced from  the  deck,  and  W.  walked  out  to  scold 
him  for  his  delay.  The  old  gentleman  was  coming- 
down  over  the  bank,  followed  by  about  eight  men 
bearing  the  four  quarters  of  an  old  7nare.  The 
butler  was  very  fat ;  and  the  proud  consciousness  of 
having  done  his  duty,  and  met  his  master's  wishes  in 
a  very  difficult  and  important  point,  had  made  him  a 
perfect  FalstafF.  He  marshalled  his  men  in  front  of 
the  cooking-boat,  and  then  came  towards  his  master, 
who  for  some  time    stood    amazed,   and  unable  to 



speak.  At  last  he  roared  out — "  And  what  the  devil 
have  you  here?" 

"  Why  the  mare  that  the  sick  gentleman  took  a 
fancy  for ;  and  dear  enough  she  has  cost  me ;  not  a 
farthing  less  than  two  hundred  rupees  would  the 
fellow  take  for  his  mare." 

P st  could  contain    himself   no   longer;     he 

burst  into  an  immoderate  fit  of  laughter,  during 
which  the  abscess  in  his  liver  burst  into  the  intes- 
tines, and  he  felt  himself  suddenly  relieved,  as  if  by 
enchantment.  The  mistake  was  rectified — he  got 
his  kid  ;  and  in  ten  days  he  was  taken  back  to  Cal- 
cutta a  sound  man,  to  the  great  astonishment  of  all 
the  doctors. 

During  the  first  campaign  against  Nepaul,  in  1815, 
Colonel,  now  Major-General  0.  H.,  who  commanded 
the regiment,  N.  I.  had  to  march  with  his  regi- 
ment through  the  town  of  Durbunga,  the  capital 
of  the  Rajah,  who  came  to  pay  his  respects  to 
him.  He  brought  a  number  of  presents,  but  the 
colonel,  a  high-minded,  amiable  man,  never  took 
anything  himself,  nor  suffered  any  person  in  his 
camp  to  do  so  in  the  districts  they  passed  through 
without  paying  for  it.  He  politely  declined  to  take 
anything  of  the  presents  ;  but  said,  "  that  he  had  heard 
that  Durbunga  produced  crows,  (Konwas,)  and  should 
be  glad  to  get  some  of  them  if  the  Rajah  could  spare 
them" — meaning  coffee  or  Quhooa. 

The  Rajah  stared,  and  said,  "  that  certainly  they 

BAGS    OF    CROWS.  61 

had  abundance  of  crows  in  Durbunga ;  but  he 
thought  they  were  equally  abundant  in  all  parts  of 

''  Quite  the  contrary,  Rajah  Sahib,  I  assure  you," 
said  the  colonel ;  "  there  is  not  such  a  thing  as  a  crow 
to  be  found  in  any  part  of  the  Company's  domi- 
nions that  I  have  seen,  and  I  have  been  all  over 

"  Very  strange,"  said  the  Rajah,  turning  round  to 
his  followers. 

"  Yes,"  replied  they,  "  it  is  very  strange.  Rajah 
Sahib;  but  such  is  your  Ikbal,  (good  fortune,) 
and  the  blessings  of  your  rule,  that  everything 
thrives  under  it ;  and  if  the  colonel  should  wish  to 
have  a  few  crows  we  could  easily  collect  them  for 

"  If,"  said  the  colonel,  greatly  delighted,  "  you 
could  provide  us  with  a  few  of  these  crows,  we 
should  really  feel  very  much  obliged  to  you ;  for 
we  have  a  long  and  cold  campaign  before  us  among 
the  bleak  hills  of  Nepaul ;  and  we  are  all  fond  of 

"  Indeed,"  returned  the  Rajah;  "  I  shall  be  happy  to 
send  you  as  many  as  you  wish."  (Much  and  many  is 
expressed  by  the  same  term.) 

"  Then  we  should  be  glad  to  have  two  or  three 
bags  full,  if  it  would  not  be  robbing  you." 

"  Not  in  the  least,"  said  the  Rajah ;  "  I  will 
go  home  and  order  them  to  be  collected  imme- 


In  the  evening,  as  the  officers,  with  the  colonel  at 
their  head,  were  sitting  down  to  dinner,  a  man  came 
up  to  announce  the  arrival  of  the  Rajah's  present. 
Three  fine  large  bags  were  bought  in,  and  the  colonel 
requested  that  one  might  be  opened  immediately. 
It  was  opened  accordingly,  and  the  mess  butler 
(Khansama)  drew  out  by  the  legs  a  fine  old  crow. 
The  colonel  immediately  saw  the  mistake,  and 
laughed  as  heartily  as  the  rest  at  the  result.  A 
polite  message  was  sent  to  the  Rajah,  requesting 
that  he  would  excuse  his  having  made  it — for  he  had 
had  a  dozen  men  out  shooting  crows  all  day  with 
their  matchlocks.  Few  Europeans  spoke  the  lan- 
guage better  than  General ,  and  I  do  not  be- 
lieve that  one  European  in  a  thousand,  at  this  mo- 
ment, makes  any  difference,  or  knows  any  difference, 
in  the  sound  of  the  two  terms. 

Kam  Buksh  had  one  sister  married  to  the  King 
of  Oude,  and  another  to  Mirza  Suleem,  the  younger 
son  of  the  Emperor.  Mirza  Suleem  and  his  wife 
could  not  agree,  and  a  separation  took  place,  and  she 
went  to  reside  with  her  sister,  the  Queen  of  Oude. 
The  king  saw  her  frequently ;  and  finding  her  more 
beautiful  than  his  wife,  he  demanded  her  also  in 
marriage  from  her  father,  who  resided  at  Lucknow, 
the  capital  of  Oude,  on  a  pension  of  five  thousand 
rupees  a  month  from  the  King.  He  would  not  con- 
sent, and  demanded  his  daughter ;  the  King,  finding 
her  willing  to  share  his  bed  and  board  with  her 
sister,  would  not  give  her  up.     The  father  got  his 


old   friend,   Colonel  Gardiner,  who    had  married  a 
Mahomedan   woman   of  rank,   to  come   down  and 
plead  his   cause.      The   king   gave   up   the  young 
woman ;  but  at  the  same  time  stopped  the  father's 
pension,  and  ordered  him  and  all  his  family  out  of 
his  dominions.     He  set  out  with  Colonel  Gardiner 
and   his    daughter,   on  his  road  to  Delhi,   through 
Khassgunge,  the  residence  of  the  colonel,  who  was 
one  day  recommending  the  prince  to  seek  consola- 
tion for  the  loss  of  his  pension  in  the  proud  recollec- 
tion of  having  saved  the   honour  of  the  house  of 
Tamerlane,  when  news  was  brought  to  them  that 
the    daughter   had   run    off    from    camp    with   his, 
Colonel  Gardiner's,  son  James,  who  had  accompanied 
him   to    Lucknow.      The   prince   and   the    colonel 
mounted  their  horses,  and  rode  after  him ;  but  they 
were  so  much  heavier  and    older  than  the  young 
ones,  that  they  soon  gave  up  the  chase  in  despair. 
Sooleeman  Shekoh  insisted  upon  the  colonel  imme- 
diately fighting  him,  after  the  fashion  of  the  Eng- 
lish, with  swords  or  pistols,  but  was  soon  persuaded 
that  the  honour  of  the  house  of  Tymour  would  be 
much  better  preserved    by  allowing  the   offending 
parties  to  marry.*    The  King  of  Oude  was  delighted 
to  find  that  the  old  man  had    been  so  punished ; 
and  the    queen   no  less  so  to  find  herself  so   sud- 
denly and  unexpectedly  relieved  from  all  dread  of 
her  sister's  return.     All  parties  wrote  to  my  friend 

*    The   coloners  son  has  succeeded   to  his  father's  estates, 
and  he  and  his  wife  are,  I  heheve,  very  happy  together. 


Kam  Buksh,  who  was  then  at  Jubbulpore ;  and  he 
came  off  with  their  letters  to  me,  to  ask  whether  I 
thought  the  incident  might  not  be  turned  to  account 
in  getting  the  pension  for  his  father  restored. 





On  the  6th  January  we  left  Agra,  which  soon  after 
became  the  residence  of  the  Governor  of  the  north- 
western provinces,  Sir  Charles  Metcalfe.  It  was 
when  I  was  there  the  residence  of  a  civil  commis- 
sioner, a  judge,  a  magistrate,  a  collector  of  land 
revenue,  a  collector  of  customs,  and  all  their  assist- 
ants and  establishments.  A  brigadier  commands 
the  station,  which  contained  a  park  of  artillery,  one 
regiment  of  European,  and  four  regiments  of  native 
infantry.  Near  the  artillery  practice-ground,  we 
passed  the  tomb  of  Jodha  Baee,  the  wife  of  the 
Emperor  Akbar  and  the  mother  of  Jehangeer.  She 
was  of  Rajpoot  caste,  daughter  of  the  Hindoo  chief 
of  Joudhpore,  a  very  beautiful,  and  it  is  said  a  very 
amiable  woman.  The  Mogul  Emperors,  though 
Mahomedans,  were  then  in  the  habit  of  taking  their 
wives  from  among  the  Rajpoot  princes  of  the  coun- 

VOL.    II.  F 




try,  with  a  view  to  secure  their  allegiance.     The 
tomb  itself  is  in  ruins,  having  only  part  of  the  dome 
standing,  and   the  walls  and  magnificent  gateways 
that  at  one  time  surrounded  it  have  been  all  taken 
away  and  sold  by  a  thrifty  government,   or  appro- 
priated to  purposes  of  more  practical  utility.     I  have 
heard  many  Mahomedans  say,  that  they  could  trace 
the  decline  of  their  empire  in  Hindoostan  to  the 
loss    of  the    Rajpoot  blood   in    the  veins    of  their 
princes.     Better  blood  than  that  of  the  Rajpoots  of 
India  certainly  never   flowed  in  the   veins  of  any 
human  beings ;  or,  what  is  the  same  thing,  no  blood 
was  ever  believed  to  be  finer  by  the  people  them- 
selves and  those  they  had  to  deal  with.     The  differ- 
ence is  all  in  the  imagination ;  and  the  imagination 
is  all  powerful  with  nations  as  with  individuals.     The 
Britons  thought  their  blood  the  finest  in  the  world 
till  they  were  conquered  by  the  Romans,  the  Picts, 
the  Scots,  and  the  Saxons.     The  Saxons  thought 
theirs  the  finest   in  the  world  till  they  were  con- 
quered by  the  Danes  and  the  Normans.     This  is  the 
history  of  the  human  race.     The  quality  of  the  blood 
of  a  whole  people  has  depended  often  upon  the  fate 
of  a  battle,  which  in  the  ancient  world  doomed  the 
vanquished  to  the  hammer ;  and  the  hammer  changed 
the  blood  of  those  sold  by  it  from  generation  to 
generation.     How  many  Norman  robbers  got  their 
blood  ennobled,  and  how  many  Saxon   nobles  got 
theirs  plebeianised  by  the  battle  of  Hastings ;  and 
how  difficult  would  it  be  for  any  of  us  to  say  from 

VIRTUE    OF    BLOOD.  67 

which  we  descended,  the  Britons  or  the  Saxons — the 
Danes  or  the  Normans ;  or  in  what  particular  action 
our  ancestors  were  the  victors  or  the  vanquished, 
and  became  ennobled  or  plebeianised  by  the  thousand 
accidents  which  influence  the  fate  of  battles !  A 
series  of  successful  aggressions  upon  their  neigh- 
bours will  commonly  give  a  nation  a  notion  that  they 
are  superior  in  courage ;  and  pride  will  make  them 
attribute  this  superiority  to  blood — that  is,  to  an 
old  date.  This  was  perhaps  never  more  exemplified 
than  in  the  case  of  the  Gorkhas  of  Nepaiil,  a  small 
diminutive  race  of  men,  not  much  unlike  the  Huns, 
but  certainly  as  brave  as  any  men  can  possibly  be. 
A  Gorkha  thought  himself  equal  to  any  four  other 
men  of  the  hills,  though  they  were  all  much  stronger ; 
just  as  a  Dane  thought  himself  equal  to  four  Saxons 
at  one  time  in  Britain.  The  other  men  of  the  hills 
began  to  think  that  he  really  was  so,  and  could 
not  stand  before  him. 

We  passed  many  wells  from  which  the  people 
were  watering  their  fields ;  and  found  those  which 
yielded  a  brackish  water  were  considered  to  be  much 
more  valuable  for  irrigation  than  those  which 
yielded  sweet  water.  It  is  the  same  in  the  valley 
of  the  Nerbudda ;  but  brackish  water  does  not  suit 
some  soils  and  some  crops.  On  the  8th,  we  reached 
Futtehpore  Secree,  which  lies  about  twenty-four 
miles  from  Agra,  and  stands  upon  the  back  of  a 
narrow  ridge  of  sandstone  hills,  rising  abruptly 
from  the  alluvial  plains,  to  the  highest  about  one 

F  2 


hundred  and  fifty  feet ;  and  extends  three  miles  north- 
north-east,  and  south-south-west.  This  place  owes 
its  celebrity  to  a  Mahomedan  saint,  the  Sheikh 
Saleem  of  Cheest,  a  town  in  Persia,  who  owed  his 
to  the  following  circumstance.  The  Emperor 
Akbar's  sons  had  all  died  in  infancy,  and  he  made  a 
pilgrimage  to  the  shrine  of  the  celebrated  Moin-od- 
deen  of  Cheest,  at  Ajmere.  He  and  his  family  went 
all  the  way  on  foot  at  the  rate  of  three  koss  or  four 
miles  a  day,  a  distance  of  about  three  hundred  and 
fifty  miles.  Kannats,  or  cloth  walls,  were  raised  on 
each  side  of  the  road,  carpets  spread  over  it,  and  high 
towers  of  burnt  bricks  erected  at  every  stage,  to 
mark  the  places  where  he  rested.  On  reaching  the 
shrine,  he  made  a  supplication  to  the  saint,  who  at 
night  appeared  to  him  in  Ms  sleep,  and  recommended 
him  to  go  and  entreat  the  intercession  of  a  very 
holy  old  man,  who  lived  a  secluded  life  upon  the  top 
of  the  little  range  of  hills  at  Secree.  He  went 
accordingly,  and  was  assured  by  the  old  man,  then 
ninety-six  years  of  age,  that  the  Empress,  Jodha 
Baee,  the  daughter  of  a  Hindoo  prince,  would  be 
delivered  of  a  son,  who  would  live  to  a  good  old  age. 
She  was  then  pregnant,  and  remained  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  old  man's  hermitage  till  her  confinement, 
which  took  place  31st  of  August,  1569.  The  infant 
was  called  after  the  hermit,  Mirza  Saleem ;  and  be- 
came in  time  Emperor  of  Hindoostan,  under  the 
name  of  Jehangeer.  It  was  to  this  Emperor,  Jehan- 
geer,  that  Sir  Thomas  Roe,    the  ambassador,  was 


sent  from  the  English  court.  Akbar,  in  order  to 
secure  to  himself,  his  family,  and  his  people,  the  ad- 
vantage of  the  continued  intercessions  of  so  holy  a 
man,  took  up  his  residence  at  Secree,  and  covered 
the  hill  with  magnificent  buildings  for  himself,  his 
courtiers,  and  his  public  establishments. 

The  quadrangle  which  contains  the  mosque  on  the 
west  side,  and  tomb  of  the  old  hermit  in  the  centre, 
was  completed  in  the  year  1578,  six  years  before  his 
death  ;  and  is  perhaps  one  of  the  finest  in  the  world. 
It  is  five  hundred  and  seventy-five  feet  square,  and 
surrounded  by  a  high  wall,  with  a  magnificent  cloister 
all  around  within.  On  the  outside,  is  a  magnificent 
gateway,  at  the  top  of  a  noble  flight  of  steps  twenty- 
four  feet  high.  The  whole  gateway  is  one  hundred 
and  twenty  feet  in  height,  and  the  same  in  breadth, 
and  presents  beyond  the  wall  fi\e  sides  of  an  octagon, 
of  which  the  front  face  is  eighty  feet  wide.  The 
arch  in  the  centre  of  this  space  is  sixty  feet  high  by 
forty  wide.  This  gateway  is  no  doubt  extremely 
grand  and  beautiful ;  but  what  strikes  one  most  is, 
the  disproportion  between  the  thing  wanted  and  the 
thing  provided — there  seems  to  be  something  quite 
preposterous  in  forming  so  enormous  an  entrance  for 
a  poor  diminutive  man  to  walk  through,  and  walk  he 
must  unless  he  is  carried  through  on  men's  shoulders ; 
for  neither  elephant,  horse,  nor  bullock  could  ascend 
over  the  flight  of  steps.  In  all  these  places  the  stair- 
cases, on  the  contrary,  are  as  disproportionately 
small ;  they  look  as  if  they  were  made  for  rats  to 


crawl  through,  while  the  gateways  seem  as  if  they 
were  made  for  ships  to  sail  under !  One  of  the  most 
interesting  sights,  was  the  immense  swarms  of  swal- 
lows flying  round  the  thick  bed  of  nests  that  occupy 
the  apex  of  this  arch;  and  to  the  spectators  below, 
they  look  precisely  like  a  swarm  of  bees  round  a  large 
honeycomb.  I  quoted  a  passage  in  the  Koran  in 
praise  of  the  swallows,  and  asked  the  guardians  of 
the  place,  whether  they  did  not  think  themselves 
happy  in  having  such  swarms  of  sacred  birds  over 
their  heads  all  day  long  ?  "  Not  at  all,"  said  they ; 
"  they  oblige  us  to  sweep  the  gateway  ten  times  a 
day,  but  there  is  no  getting  at  their  nests,  or  we 
should  soon  get  rid  of  them."  They  then  told  me  that 
the  sacred  bird  of  the  Koran  was  the  abadeel  or 
large  black  swallow,  and  not  the  purtadeel,  a  little 
piebald  thing  of  no  religious  merit  whatever.*  On 
the  right  side  of  the  entrance  is  engraven  on  stone 
in  large  letters  standing  out  in  bas  relief,  the  follow- 
ing passage  in  Arabic :  "  Jesus,  on  whom  be  peace, 
has  said,  the  world  is  merely  a  bridge ;  you  are  to 
pass  over  it,  and  not  to  build  your  dwellings  upon  it." 
Where  this  saying  of  Christ  is  to  be  found,  I  know 
not ;  nor  has  any  Mahomedan  yet  been  able  to  tell 

*  See  the  105th  chapter  of  the  Koran.  "  Hast  thou  not 
seen  how  thy  Lord  dealt  with  the  masters  of  the  elephant  ?  Did 
he  not  make  their  treacherous  designs  an  occasion  of  drawing 
them  into  error ;  and  send  against  them  flocks  of  swallows  which 
cast  down  upon  them  stones  of  baked  clay,  and  rendered  them 
like  the  leaves  of  corn  eaten  by  cattle  ?" 

hermit's  tomb.  71 

me ;  but  the  quoting  of  such  a  passage,  in  such  a 
place,  is  a  proof  of  the  absence  of  all  bigotry  on  the 
part  of  Akbar. 

The  tomb  of  Sheikh  Saleem,  the  hermit,  is  a  very 
beautiful  little  building,  in  the  centre  of  the  qua- 
drangle. The  man  who  guards  it  told  me,  that  the 
Jats,  while  they  reigned,  robbed  this  tomb  as  well 
as  those  at  Agra,  of  some  of  the  most  beautiful  and 
valuable  portion  of  the  mosaic  work.  "  But,"  said 
he,  "  they  were  well  plundered  in  their  turn  by  your 
troops  at  Bhurtpore  !  retribution  always  follows  the 
wicked  sooner  or  later."  *  He  showed  us  the  little 
roof  of  stone  tiles,  close  to  the  original  little  dingy 
mosque  of  the  old  hermit,  where  the  Empress  gave 
birth  to  Jehangeer ;  and  told  us,  that  she  was  a  very 
sensible  woman,  whose  councils  had  great  weight 
with  the  Emperor .f     "  His  majesty's  only  fault  was," 

*  We  besieged  and  took  Bhurtpore  in  order  to  rescue  the 
young  prince,  our  ally,  from  his  uncle,  who  had  forcibly  assumed 
the  office  of  prime  minister  to  his  nephew.  As  soon  as  we  got 
possession,  all  the  property  we  found  belonging  either  to  the 
nephew  or  the  uncle,  was  declared  to  be  prize  money,  and  taken  for 
the  troops.  The  young  prince  was  obliged  to  borrow  an  elephant 
from  the  prize  agents  to  ride  upon.  He  has  ever  since  enjoyed 
the  whole  of  the  revenue  of  his  large  territory. 

t  The  people  of  India,  no  doubt,  owed  much  of  the  good  they 
enjoyed  under  the  long  reign  of  Akbar,  to  this  most  excellent 
woman,  who  inspired  not  only  her  husband  but  the  most  able 
Mahomedan  minister  that  India  has  ever  had,  with  feelings  of 
universal  benevolence.  It  was  from  her  that  this  great  minister, 
Abul  Fuzul,  derived  the  spirit  that  dictated  the  following  passages 
in  his  admirable  work,  the  Aeen  Akberee  :  "  Every  sect  becomes 


he  said,  "  an  inclination  to  learn  the  art  of  magic, 
which  was  taught  him  by  an  old  Hindoo  religious 
mendicant,"  whose  apartment  near  the  palace  he 
pointed  out  to  us. 

"Fortunately,"   said    our   cicerone,    "the   fellow 

infatuated  with  its  particular  doctrines  ;  animosity  and  dissension 
prevail,  and  each  man  deeming  the  tenets  of  his  sect  to  be  the 
dictates  of  truth  itself,  aims  at  the  destruction  of  all  others,  vili- 
fies reputation,  stains  the  earth  with  blood,  aud  has  the  vanity  to 
imagine  that  he  is  performing  meritorious  actions.  Were  the 
voice  of  reason  attended  to,  mankind  would  be  sensible  of  their 
error,  and  lament  the  weaknesses  which  led  them  to  interfere  in 
the  religious  concerns  of  each  other.  Persecution  after  all  defeats 
its  own  end  ;  it  obliges  men  to  conceal  their  opinions,  but  pro- 
duces no  change  in  them. 

"  Summarily,  the  Hindoos  are  religious,  affable,  courteous  to 
strangers,  prone  to  inflict  austerities  on  themselves,  lovers  of  jus- 
tice, given  to  retirement,  able  in  business,  grateful,  admirers  of 
truth,  and  of  unbounded  fidelity  in  all  their  dealings.  This 
character  shines  brightest  in  adversity.  Their  soldiers  know  not 
what  it  is  to  fly  from  the  field  of  battle  :  when  the  success  of  the 
combat  becomes  doubtful,  they  dismount  from  their  horses,  and 
throw  away  their  lives  in  payment  of  the  debt  of  valour.  They 
have  great  respect  for  their  tutors ;  and  make  no  account  of  their 
lives  when  they  can  devote  them  to  the  service  of  their  God. 

"  They  consider  the  Supreme  Being  to  be  above  all  labour,  and 
believe  Brahmah  to  be  the  creator  of  the  world,  Vishnu  its  pre- 
server, and  Sewa  its  destroyer.  But  one  sect  believes  that  God, 
who  hath  no  equal,  appeared  on  earth  under  the  three  above- 
mentioned  forms,  without  having  been  thereby  polluted  in  the 
smallest  degree,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  Christians  speak  of 
the  Messiah ;  others  hold  that  all  these  were  only  human  beings, 
who,  on  account  of  their  sanctity  and  righteousness,  were  raised 
to  these  high  dignities." 


died  before  the  Emperor  had  learnt  enough  to  practise 
the  art  without  his  aid." 

Sheikh  Saleem  had,  he  declared,  gone  more  than 
twenty  times   on  pilgrimage  to  the  tomb  of  the  holy 
prophet ;  and  was  not  much  pleased  to  have  his  re- 
pose so  much  disturbed  by  all  the  noise  and  bustle  of 
the  imperial  court.     At  last,  Akbar  wanted  to  sur- 
round the  hill  by   regular  fortifications ;    and    the 
Sheikh  could  stand  it  no  longer.     "  Either  you  or  I 
must  leave  this  hill,"  said  he  to  the  Emperor ;  "  if  the 
efficacy  of  my  prayers  is  no  longer  to  be  relied  upon 
let  me  depart  in  peace !"     "  If  it  be  your  majesty's 
will,"  replied  the  Emperor,  "  that  one  should  go,  let 
it  be  your  slave,  I  pray  !"     The  old  story  : — there  is 
nothing  like  relying  upon  the  efficacy  of  our  prayers, 
say  the  priests — nothing  like  relying  upon  that  of 
our  sharp  swords,  say  the  soldiers ;  and  as   nations 
advance  from  barbarism,  they  generally  contrive  to 
divide  between  them  the  surplus  produce  of  the  land 
and  labour  of  society.  The  old  hermit  consented  to  re- 
main,  and  pointed  out  Agra  as   a  place  which  he 
thought  would  answer  the  Emperor's  purpose  ex- 
tremely well !     Agra,  then  an  unpeopled  waste,  soon 
became  a  city,  and  Futtehpore  Secree  was  deserted. 
Cities  which,  like  this,  are  maintained  by  the  public 
establishments  that  attend  and  surround  the  courts 
of  sovereign  princes,  must  always,  like  this,  become 
deserted  when  these  sovereigns  change  their  resting- 
places.     To   the  history  of  the   rise  and   progress, 
decline  and  fall,  of  how  many  cities  is  this  the  key  ? 


Close  to  the  tomb  of  the  saint,  is  another  con- 
taining the  remains  of  a  great  number  of  his  descend- 
ants, who  continue  to  enjoy,  under  the  successors 
of  Akbar,  large  grants  of  rent-free  lands  for  their  own 
support,  and  for  that  of  the  mosque  and  mausoleum. 
These  grants  have  by  degrees  been  nearly  all  re- 
sumed ;  and  as  the  repair  of  the  buildings  is  now 
entrusted  to  the  public  officers  of  our  government, 
the  surviving  members  of  the  saint's  family,  who 
still  reside  among  the  ruins,  are  extremely  poor. 
What  strikes  an  European  most  in  going  over  these 
palaces  of  the  Mogul  Emperors  is,  the  want  of  what 
a  gentleman  of  fortune  in  his  own  country  would 
consider  elegantly  comfortable  accommodations.  Five 
hundred  pounds  a  year  would  at  the  present  day 
secure  him  more  of  this  in  any  civilized  country  of 
Europe  or  America,  than  the  greatest  of  those  Em- 
perors could  command.  He  would  perhaps  have  the 
same  impression  in  going  over  the  domestic  archi- 
tecture of  the  most  civilized  nations  of  the  ancient 
world,  Persia  and  Egypt,  Greece  and  Rome. 




Our  old  friends,  Mr.  Charles  Fraser,  the  commis- 
sioner of  the  Agra  division,  then  on  his  circuit,  and 
Major  Godby,  had  come  on  with  us  from  Agra,  and 
made  our  party  very  agreeable.  On  the  9th,  we 
went  fourteen  miles  to  Bhurtpore,  over  a  plain  of 
alluvial  but  seemingly  poor  soil,  intersected  by  one 
low  range  of  sandstone  hills  running  north-east  and 
south-west.  The  thick  belt  of  jungle,  three  miles 
wide,  with  which  the  chiefs  of  Bhurtpore  used 
to  surround  their  fortress  while  they  were  free- 
booters, and  always  liable  to  be  brought  into  collision 
with  their  neighbours,  has  been  fast  diminishing 
since  the  capture  of  the  place  by  our  troops  in  1826 ; 
and  will  very  soon  disappear  altogether,  and  give 
place  to  rich  sheets  of  cultivation,  and  happy  little 
village  communities.     Our  tents  had   been  pitched 



close  outside  the  Mutra  gate,  near  a  small  grove  of 
fruit  trees,  which  formed  the  left  flank  of  the 
last  attack  on  this  fortress  by  Lord  Combermere. 
Major  Godby  had  been  present  during  the  whole 
siege ;  and  as  we  went  round  the  place  in  the  evening 
on  our  elephants,  he  pointed  out  all  the  points  of 
attack,  and  told  all  the  anecdotes  of  the  day  that 
were  interesting  enough  to  be  remembered  for  ten 
years.  We  went  through  the  town,  out  at  the  oppo- 
site gate,  and  passed  along  the  line  of  Lord  Lake's 
attack  in  1804.  All  the  points  of  his  attack  were 
also  pointed  out  to  us  by  our  cicerone,  an  old  officer 
in  the  service  of  the  Rajah.  It  happened  to  be  the 
anniversary  of  the  first  attempt  to  storm,  which  was 
made  on  the  9th  of  January,  thirty-one  years  before. 
One  old  officer  told  us  that  he  remembered  Lord 
Lake  sitting  with  three  other  gentlemen  on  chairs 
not  more  than  half  a  mile  from  the  ramparts  of  the 

The  old  man  thought  that  the  men  of  those  days 
were  quite  a  different  sort  of  thing  to  the  men  of 
the  present  day,  as  well  those  who  defended,  as 
those  who  attacked  the  fort ;  and  if  the  truth  must 
be  told,  he  thought  that  the  European  lords  and 
gentlemen  had  fallen  off*  in  the  same  scale  as  the 
rest.  "  But,"  said  the  old  man,  "  all  these  things  are 
matter  of  destiny  and  providence.  Upon  that  very 
bastion,  (pointing  to  the  right  point  of  Lord  Lake's 
attack,)  stood  a  large  twenty-four  pounder,  which 
was  loaded   and  discharged  three  times  by  super- 


natural  agency  during  one  of  your  attacks — not  a 
living  soul  was  near  it."     We  all  smiled  incredulous ; 
and  the  old  man  offered  to  bring  a  score  of  wit- 
nesses to  the  fact,  men  of  unquestionable  veracity  ! 
The  left  point  of  Lord  Lake's  attack  was  the  Buldeo 
bastion,  so  called  after  Buldeo  Sing,  the  second  son 
of  the  then  reigning  chief,  Runjeet  Sing.     He  suc- 
ceeded his  father,  and  left  the  government  to  his 
adopted  son,  the  present  young  chief,  Bulwunt  Sing. 
The  feats  which  Hector  performed  in  the  defence  of 
Troy  sink  into  utter  insignificance  before  those  which 
Buldeo   performed   in    the    defence    of   Bhurtpore, 
according  to  the  best  testimony  of  the  survivors  of 
that  great  day.     "  But,"  said  the  old  man,   "  he  was, 
of  course,  acting  under  supernatural  influence ;  he 
condescended  to  measure  swords   only  with   Euro- 
peans ;"  and  their  bodies  filled  the  whole  bastion  in 
which    he    stood,    according  to   the  belief  of   the 
people,  though  no  European  entered  it,  I  believe, 
during  the  whole  siege.     They  pointed  out  to   us 
where  the  different  corps  were  posted.     There  was 
one  corps  which  had  signalized  itself  a  good  deal, 
but  of  which  I  had  never  before  heard,  though  all 
around  me  seemed  extremely  well  acquainted  with 
it — this  was  the  "  U^ita  Goorgoors^     At  last  Godby 
came  to  my  side,  and  told  me  this  was  the  name  by 
which  the  Bombay  troops  were  always  known   in 
Bengal,  though  no  one  seemed  to  know  whence  it 
came.     I  am  disposed  to  think  that  they  derive  it 
from  the  peculiar  form  of  the  caps  of  their  sipahees, 


which  are  in  form  like  the  common  hookah,  called  a 
goorgooree,  with  a  small  ball  at  the  top,  like  an 
unta,  or  tennis,  or  billiard  ball :  hence  "  Unta  Goor- 
goors."  The  Bombay  sipahees  were,  I  am  told, 
always  very  angry  when  they  heard  that  they  were 
known  by  this  term — they  have  always  behaved  like 
good  soldiers,  and  need  not  be  ashamed  of  this  or 
any  other  name. 

The  water  in  the  lake,  about  a  mile  to  the  west 
of  Bhurtpore,  stands  higher  than  the  ground  about 
the  fortress ;  and  a  drain  had  been  opened  through 
which  the  water  rushed  in  and  filled  the  ditch  all 
round  the  fort  and  great  part  of  the  plain  to  the 
south  and  east,  before  Lord  Lake  undertook  the 
siege  in  1 804.  This  water  might,  I  believe,  have 
been  taken  off  to  the  eastward  into  the  Jumna,  had 
the  outlet  been  discovered  by  the  engineers.  An 
attempt  was  made  to  cut  the  same  drain  on  the 
approach  of  Lord  Combermere  in  1826 ;  but  a  party 
went  on,  and  stopped  the  work  before  much  water 
had  passed,  and  the  ditch  was  almost  dry  when  the 
siege  began. 

The  walls  being  all  of  mud  and  now  dismantled, 
had  a  wretched  appearance ;  and  the  town,  which  is 
contained  within  them,  is,  though  very  populous, 
a  mere  collection  of  wretched  hovels :  the  only  re- 
spectable habitation  within  is  the  palace,  which  con- 
sists of  three  detached  buildings,  one  for  the  chief, 
another  for  the  females  of  his  family,  and  the  third 
for  his  court  of  justice.     I  could  not  find  a  single 

MERIT    OF    FAITH.  79 

trace  of  the  European  officers  who  had  been  killed 
here,  either  at  the  first  or  second  siege,  though  I  had 
been  told  that  a  small  tomb  had  been  built  in  a 
neighbouring  grove  over  the  remains  of  Brigadier- 
General  Edwards,  who  fell  in  the  last  storm.  It  is, 
I  believe,  the  only  one  that  has  ever  been  raised. 
The  scenes  of  battles  fought  by  the  Mahomedan 
conquerors  of  India,  were  commonly  crowded  with 
magnificent  tombs  built  over  the  slain,  and  provided 
for  a  time  with  the  means  of  maintaining  holy  men 
who  read  the  Koran  over  their  graves.  Not  that 
this  duty  was  necessary  for  the  repose  of  their  souls, 
for  every  Mahomedan  killed  in  fighting  against  men 
who  believed  not  in  his  prophet,  no  matter  what  the 
cause  of  quarrel,  went,  as  a  matter  of  course,  to 
paradise ;  and  every  unbeliever,  killed  in  the  same 
action,  went  as  surely  to  hell !  There  are  only  a 
few  hundred  men,  exclusive  of  the  prophets,  who, 
according  to  Mahomed,  have  the  first  place  in  para- 
dise— those  who  shared  in  one  or  other  of  his  first 
three  battles,  and  believed  in  his  holy  mission  before 
they  had  the  evidence  of  a  single  victory  over  the 
unbelievers  to  support  it.  At  the  head  of  these  are 
the  men  who  accompanied  him  in  his  flight  from 
Mecca  to  Medina,  when  he  had  no  evidence  either 
from  victories  or  miracles.  In  all  such  matters,  the 
less  the  evidence  adduced  in  proof  of  a  mission  the 
greater  the  merit  of  those  who  believe  in  it,  accord- 
ing to  the  person  who  pretends  to  it ;  and  unhappily, 
the  less  the  evidence  a  man  has  for  his  faith,  the 


greater  is  his  anger  against  other  men  for  not  joining 
in  it  with  him.  No  man  gets  very  angry  with 
another  for  not  joining  with  him  in  his  faith  in  the 
demonstration  of  a  problem  in  mathematics.  Man 
likes  to  think  that  he  is  on  the  way  to  heaven  upon 
such  easy  terms ;  but  gets  angry  at  the  notion  that 
others  won't  join  him,  because  they  may  consider  him 
an  imbecile  for  thinking  that  he  is  so.  The  Maho- 
medan  generals  and  historians  are  sometimes  almost 
as  concise  as  Caesar  himself  in  describing  very  con- 
scientiously a  battle  of  this  kind ;  instead  of  I  came, 
I  saw,  I  conquered — it  is,  "  ten  thousand  Mussul- 
mans on  that  day  tasted  of  the  blessed  fruit  of  para- 
dise, after  sending  fifty  thousand  unbelievers  to  the 
flames  of  hell !" 

On  the  10th,  we  came  on  twelve  miles  to  Koom- 
beer,  over  a  plain  of  poor  soil,  much  impregnated 
with  salt,  and  with  some  works  in  which  salt  is  made, 
with  solar  evaporation.  The  earth  is  dug  up — water 
filtered  through  it,  and  drawn  off  into  small  square 
beds,  where  it  is  evaporated  by  exposure  to  the  solar 
heat.  The  gate  of  this  fort  leading  out  to  the  road 
we  came  is  called,  modestly  enough,  after  Koombeer, 
a  place  only  ten  miles  distant  ;  that  leading  to 
Mutra,  three  or  four  stages  distant,  is  called  the 
Mutra  gate.  At  Delhi,  the  gates  of  the  city  wall 
are  called  ostentatiously  after  distant  places:  the 
Cashmere^  the  Cabool,  the  Constantinople  gates.  Out- 
side the  Koombeer  gate,  I  saw  for  the  first  time  in 
my  life,   the  well  peculiar  to  upper  India.     It  is 


built  up  in  the  form  of  a  round  tower  or  cylindrical 
shell,  of  burnt  bricks,  well  cemented  with  good 
mortar,  and  covered  inside  and  out  with  good  stucco 
work ;  and  let  down  by  degrees,  as  the  earth  is  re- 
moved by  men  at  work  in  digging  under  the  light 
earthy  or  sandy  foundation  inside  and  out.  This 
well  is  about  twenty  feet  below  and  twenty  feet 
above  the  surface,  and  had  to  be  built  higher  as  it 
was  let  into  the  ground. 

On  the  11th,  we  came  on  twelve  miles  to  Deeg, 
over  a  plain  of  poor  and  badly  cultivated  soil,  which 
must  be  almost  all  under  water  in  the  rains.  This 
was  and  still  is  the  country  seat  of  the  Jats  of  Bhurt- 
pore,  who  rose,  as  I  have  already  stated,  to  wealth  and 
power  by  aggressions  upon  their  immediate  neigh- 
bours, and  the  plunder  of  tribute  on  its  way  to  the 
imperial  capital,  and  of  the  baggage  of  passing  armies 
during  the  contests  for  dominion  that  followed  the 
death  of  the  Emperors,  and  during  the  decline  and 
fall  of  the  empire.  The  Jats  found  the  morasses 
with  which  they  were  surrounded  here  a  source  of 
strength.  They  emigrated  from  the  banks  of  the  Indus 
about  Moultan,  and  took  up  their  abode  by  degrees 
on  the  banks  of  the  Jumna,  and  those  of  the  Chum- 
bul,  from  their  confluence  upwards ;  w^here  they  be- 
came cultivators  and  robbers  upon  a  small  scale,  till 
they  had  the  means  to  build  garrisons,  when  they 
entered  the  lists  with  princes,  who  were  only  robbers 
upon  a  large  scale.  The  Jats,  like  the  Mahrattas, 
rose  by  a  feeling  of   nationality  among    a    people 

VOL.   II.  G 


who  had  none.  Single  landholders  were  every  day 
rising  to  principalities  by  means  of  their  gangs  of 
robbers ;  but  they  could  seldom  be  cemented  under 
one  common  head  by  a  bond  of  national  feeling. 
They  have  a  noble  quadrangular  garden  at  Deeg, 
surrounded  by  a  high  wall.  In  the  centre  of  each 
of  the  four  faces  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  Hindoo 
buildings  for  accommodation  that  I  have  ever  seen, 
formed  of  a  very  fine  grained  sandstone  brought  from 
the  quarries  of  Roopbas,  which  lie  between  thirty 
and  forty  miles  to  the  south,  and  eight  or  ten  miles 
south-west  of  Futtehpore  Secree.  These  stones  are 
brought  in,  in  flags  some  sixteen  feet  long,  from  two 
to  three  feet  wide  and  one  thick,  with  sides  as  flat 
as  glass,  the  flags  being  of  the  natural  thickness  of 
the  strata.  The  garden  is  four  hundred  and  seventy- 
five  feet  long,  by  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet  wide ; 
and  in  the  centre  is  an  octagonal  pond,  with  openings 
on  four  sides  leading  up  to  the  four  buildings,  each 
opening  having  from  the  centre  of  the  pond  to  the 
foot  of  the  flight  of  steps  leading  into  them,  an  avenue 
of  jets  d'eau. 

Deeg  as  much  surpassed,  as  Bhurtpore  fell  short 
of  my  expectations.  I  had  seen  nothing  in  India  of 
architectural  beauty  to  be  compared  with  the  build- 
ings in  this  garden,  except  at  Agra.  The  useful  and 
the  elegant  are  here  everywhere  happily  blended ; 
nothing  seems  disproportionate,  or  unsuitable  to 
the  purpose  for  which  it  was  designed ;  and  all  that 
one  regrets  is,  that  so  beautiful  a  garden  should  be 


situated  in  so  vile  a  swamp  !     There  was  a  general 
complaint  among  the  people  of  the  town  of  a  want  of 
rozgar,  (employment,)  and  its  fruit  subsistence :  the 
taking  of  Bhurtpore  had,  they  said,  produced  a  sad 
change  among  them  for  the  worse.     Godby  observed 
to  some  of  the  respectable  men  about  us,  w^ho  com- 
plained of  this,  "  that  happily  their  chief  had  now  no 
enemy  to  employ  them  against."     "  But  what,"   said 
they,   "is  a  prince  without  an  army?  and  why  do 
you  keep  up  yours  now  that  all  your  enemies  have 
been  subdued  ?"     "  We  want  them,"  replied  Godby, 
"to  prevent  our  friends  from  cutting  each  other's 
throats,  and  to  defend  them  all  against  a  foreign  ene- 
my !"  "  True,"  said  they,  "  but  what  are  we  to  do  who 
have  nothing  but  our  swords  to  depend  upon,  now 
that  our  chief  no  longer  wants  us,  and  you  won't 
take  us  ?"     "  And  what,"  said    some    shopkeepers, 
"  are  we  to  do  who  provided  these  troops  with  clothes, 
food,  and  furniture,  which  they  can  no  longer  afford  to 
pay  for  ?    Com'pany  ka  umul  men  hooch  rozgar  nuheen. 
Under  the  Company's  dominion  there  is  no  employ- 
ment."    This  is  too  true ;  we  do  the  soldier's  work 
with    one-tenth    of   the    soldiers    that    had  before 
been  employed  in  it  over  the  territories  we  acquire, 
and  turn  the  other  nine-tenths  adrift.     They  all  sink 
into   the   lowest  class    of   religious  mendicants,  or 
retainers ;  or  live  among  their  friends  as  drones  upon 
the  land  ;  while  the  manufacturing,  trading,  and  com- 
mercial industry  that  provided  them  with  the  com- 
forts, conveniences,  and  elegances  of  life  while  they 

G  2 


were  in  a  higher  grade  of  service,  is  in  its  turn 
thrown  out  of  employment ;  and  the  whole  frame  of 
society  becomes,  for  a  time,  deranged  by  the  local 
diminution  in  the  demand  for  the  services  of  men  and 
the  produce  of  their  industry.  I  say  we  do  the  sol- 
diers' work  with  one-tenth  of  the  numbers  that  were 
formerly  required  for  it.  I  will  mention  an  anecdote 
to  illustrate  this.  In  the  year  1816,  I  was  march- 
ing with  my  regiment  from  the  Nepaul  frontier,  after 
the  war,  to  Allahabad.  We  encamped  about  four 
miles  from  a  mud  fort,  in  the  kingdom  of  Oude,  and 
heard  the  guns  of  the  Amil,  or  chief  of  the  district, 
playing  all  day  upon  this  fort,  from  which  his  bat- 
teries were  removed  at  least  two  miles.  He  had 
three  regiments  of  infantry,  a  corps  or  two  of  cavalry, 
and  a  good  park  of  artillery ;  while  the  garrison  con- 
sisted of  only  about  two  hundred  stout  Rajpoot 
landholders  and  cultivators,  or  yeomen.  In  the  eve- 
ning, just  as  we  had  sat  down  to  dinner,  a  messenger 
came  to  the  commanding  officer.  Colonel  Gregory, 
who  was  a  member  of  the  mess,  from  the  said  Amil, 
and  begged  permission  to  deliver  his  message  in 
private.  I,  as  the  senior  staff  officer,  was  requested 
to  hear  what  he  had  to  say. 

"  What  do   you  require    from  the   commanding 

"  I  require  the  loan  of  the  regiment." 

"  I  know  the  commanding  officer  will  not  let  you 
have  the  regiment." 

"  If  the  Amil  cannot  get  more,  he  will  be  glad  to 

LOAN    OF    A    DRUMMER.  86 

get  two  companies ;  and  I  have  brought  with  me 
this  bag  of  gold,  containing  some  two  or  three  hun- 
dred gold  mohurs." 

I  delivered  the  message  to  Colonel  Gregory,  be- 
fore all  the  officers,  who  desired  me  to  say  that  he 
could  not  spare  a  single  man,  as  he  had  no  authority 
to  assist  the  Amil,  and  was  merely  marching  through 
the  country  to  his  destination.  I  did  so.  The  man 
urged  me  to  beg  the  commanding  officer,  if  he  could 
do  no  more,  merely  to  halt  the  next  day  where  he 
was,  and  lend  the  Amil  the  use  of  one  of  his  drum- 
mers ! 

"  And  what  will  you  do  with  him  ?" 

"  Why,  just  before  daylight,  we  will  take  him  down 
near  one  of  the  gates  of  the  fort,  and  make  him  beat 
his  drum  as  hard  as  he  can  ;  and  the  people  within, 
thinking  the  whole  regiment  is  upon  them,  will  make 
out  as  fast  as  possible  at  the  opposite  gate." 

"  And  the  bag  of  gold,  what  is  to  become  of  that  T 

"  You  and  the  old  gentleman  can  divide  it  be- 
tween you,  and  I  will  double  it  for  you  if  you  like." 

I  delivered  the  message  before  all  the  officers  to 
their  great  amusement ;  and  the  poor  man  was 
obliged  to  carry  back  his  bag  of  gold  to  the  Amil. 
The  Amil  is  the  collector  of  the  revenues  in  Oude, 
and  he  is  armed  with  all  the  powers  of  government ; 
and  has  generally  several  regiments  and  a  train  of 
artillery  with  him.  The  large  landholders  build 
these  mud  forts,  which  they  defend  by  their  Rajpoot 
cultivators,  who  are  among  the  bi-avest  men  in  the 


world.  One  hundred  of  them  would  never  hesitate 
to  attack  a  thousand  of  the  king's  regular  troops, 
because  they  know  the  Amil  would  be  ashamed  to 
have  any  noise  made  about  it  at  court ;  but  they  know 
also,  that  if  they  were  to  beat  one  hundred  of  the 
Company's  troops,  they  would  soon  have  a  thousand 
upon  them ;  and  if  they  were  to  beat  one  thousand, 
that  they  would  soon  have  ten.  They  provide  for  the 
maintenance  of  those  who  are  wounded  in  their 
flight,  and  for  the  widows  and  orphans  of  those  who 
are  killed.  Their  prince  provides  for  neither,  and 
his  soldiers  are  in  consequence  somewhat  chary  of 
fighting.  It  is  from  this  peasantry,  the  military  cul- 
tivators of  Oude,  that  our  Bengal  native  infantry 
draws  three  out  of  four  of  its  recruits,  and  finer 
young  men  for  soldiers  can  hardly  anywhere  be 

The  advantage  which  arises  to  society  from  doing 
the  soldiers'  duty  with  a  small  number,  has  never  been 
sufficiently  appreciated  in  India ;  but  it  will  become 
every  day  more  and  more  manifest,  as  our  dominion 
becomes  more  and  more  stable — for  men  who  have 
lived  by  the  sword  do  not  in  India  like  to  live  by 
anything  else,  or  to  see  their  children  anything  but 
soldiers.  Under  the  former  governments,  men 
brought  their  own  arms  and  horses  to  the  service, 
and  took  them  away  with  them  again  when  dis- 
charged. The  supply  always  greatly  exceeded  the 
demand  for  soldiers  both  in  the  cavalry  and  the 
infantry,  and  a  very  great  portion  of  the  men  armed 


and  accoutred  as  soldiers,  were  always  without  ser- 
vice, roaming  over  the  country  in  search  of  it.  To 
such  men,  the  profession  next  in  rank  after  that  of 
the  soldier  robbing  in  the  service  of  the  sovereign, 
was  that  of  the  robber  plundering  on  his  own  account. 
"  Materia  munificentise  per  bella  et  raptus.  Ne  arare 
terram,  aut  expectare  annum  tam  facile  persuaseris, 
quam  vocare  hostes  et  vulnera  mereri :  pigrum  qui- 
nimo  et  iners  videtur  sudore  adquinere,  quod  possis 
sanguine  parare."  "  War  and  rapine  supply  the  prince 
with  the  means  of  his  munificence.  You  cannot 
persuade  the  German  to  cultivate  the  fields  and 
wait  patiently  for  the  harvest,  so  easily  as  you  can  to 
challenge  the  enemy  and  expose  himself  to  honour- 
able wounds.  They  hold  it  to  be  base  and  dis- 
honourable to  earn  by  the  sweat  of  their  brow  what 
they  might  acquire  by  their  blood." 

The  equestrian  robber  had  his  horse,  and  was 
called  "Ghurasee,"  horse-robber,  a  term  which  he 
never  thought  disgraceful.  The  foot-robber  under 
the  native  government  stood  in  the  same  relation  to 
the  horse-robber  as  the  foot  soldier  to  the  horse 
soldier,  because  the  trooper  furnished  his  own  horses, 
arms  and  accoutrements,  and  considered  himself  a 
man  of  rank  and  wealth  compared  with  the  foot 
soldier :  both  however  had  the  wherewithal  to  rob 
the  traveller  on  the  highway;  and  in  the  inter- 
vals between  wars,  the  high  roads  were  covered  with 
them.  There  was  a  time  in  England,  it  is  said,  when 
the  supply  of  clergymen  was  so  great  compared  with 


the  demand  for  them,  from  the  undue  stimulus  given 
to  clerical  education,  that  it  was  not  thought  dis- 
graceful for  them  to  take  to  robbing  on  the  highway ; 
and  all  the  high  roads  were  in  consequence  infested 
by  them.  How  much  more  likely  is  a  soldier  to 
consider  himself  justified  in  this  pursuit,  and  to  be 
held  so  by  the  feelings  of  the  society  in  general, 
when  he  seeks  in  vain  for  regular  service  under  his 
sovereign  and  his  viceroys. 

The  individual  soldiers  not  only  armed,  accoutred, 
and  mounted  themselves,  but  they  generally  ranged 
themselves  under  leaders,  and  formed  well-organized 
bands  ready  for  any  purpose  of  war  or  plunder.  They 
followed  the  fortunes  of  such  leaders  whether  in 
service  or  out  of  it ;  and  when  dismissed  from  that 
of  their  sovereign,  they  assisted  them  in  robbing  on 
the  highway,  or  in  pillaging  the  country  till  the 
sovereign  was  constrained  to  take  them  back,  or  give 
them  estates  in  rent-free  tenure  for  their  mainte- 
nance and  that  of  their  followers. 

All  this  is  reversed  under  our  government.  We 
do  the  soldiers'  work  much  better  than  it  was  ever 
before  done  with  one-tenth— nay,  I  may  say,  one- 
fiftieth  part  of  the  numbers  that  were  employed  to 
do  it  by  our  predecessors ;  and  the  whole  number  of 
the  soldiers  employed  by  us  is  not  equal  to  that  of 
those  who  were  under  them  actually  in  the  transition 
state,  or  on  their  way  from  the  place  where  they  had 
lost  service,  to  that  where  they  hoped  to  find  it ; 
extorting  the  means  of  subsistence  either  by  intimi- 


dation  or  by  open  violence.  Those  who  are  in  this 
transition  state  under  us,  are  neither  armed,  accoutred 
nor  mounted ;  we  do  not  disband  en  masse,  we  only 
dismiss  individuals  for  offences,  and  they  have  no 
leaders  to  range  themselves  under.  Those  who 
come  to  seek  our  service  are  the  sons  of  yeomen, 
bred  up  from  their  infancy  with  all  those  feelings  of 
deference  for  superiors  which  we  require  in  soldiers. 
They  have  neither  arms,  horses,  nor  accoutrements  ; 
and  when  they  leave  us  permanently  or  temporarily, 
they  take  none  with  them — they  never  rob  or  steal 
— they  will  often  dispute  with  the  shopkeepers  on 
the  road  about  the  price  of  provisions,  or  get  a  man 
to  carry  their  bundles  gratis  for  a  few  miles,  but 
this  is  the  utmost  of  their  transgressions,  and  for 
these  things  they  are  often  severely  handled  by  our 

It  is  extremely  gratifying  to  an  Englishman  to 
hear  the  general  testimony  borne  by  all  classes  of 
people  to  the  merits  of  our  rule  in  this  respect ;  they 
all  say  that  no  former  government  ever  devoted  so 
much  attention  to  the  formation  of  good  roads  and  to 
the  protection  of  those  who  travel  on  them ;  and 
much  of  the  security  arises  from  the  change  I  have 
here  remarked  in  the  character  and  number  of  our 
military  establishments.  It  is  equally  gratifying  to 
reflect  that  the  advantages  must  go  on  increasing, 
as  those  who  have  been  thrown  out  of  employment 
in  the  army,  find  other  occupations  for  themselves 
and  their  children ;  for  find  them  they  must  or  turn 


mendicants,  if  India  should  be  blessed  with  a  long 
interval  of  peace.  All  soldiers  under  us  who  have 
served  the  government  faithfully  for  a  certain  num- 
ber of  years,  are,  when  no  longer  fit  for  the  active 
duties  of  their  profession,  sent  back  with  the  means 
of  subsistence  in  honourable  retirement  for  the  rest 
of  their  lives  among  their  families  and  friends,  where 
they  form,  as  it  were,  fountains  of  good  feeling 
towards  the  government  they  have  served.  Under 
former  governments,  a  trooper  was  discharged  as 
soon  as  his  horse  got  disabled,  and  a  foot  soldier  as 
soon  as  he  got  disabled  himself,  no  matter  how — 
whether  in  the  service  of  the  prince  or  otherwise ; 
no  matter  how  long  they  had  served,  whether  they 
were  still  fit  for  any  other  service  or  not.  Like  the 
old  soldier  in  Gil  Bias,  they  turned  robbers  on  the 
highway,  where  they  could  still  present  a  spear  or  a 
matchlock  at  a  traveller,  though  no  longer  deemed 
worthy  to  serve  in  our  ranks  of  the  army.  Nothing 
tended  so  much  to  the  civilization  of  Europe  as  the 
substitution  of  standing  armies  for  militia  ;  and  no- 
thing has  tended  so  much  to  the  improvement  of 
India  under  our  rule.  The  troops  to  which  our 
standing  armies  in  India  succeeded,  were  much  the 
same  in  character  as  those  licentious  bodies  to  which 
the  standing  armies  of  the  different  nations  of  Europe 
succeeded ;  and  the  result  has  been,  and  will,  I  hope, 
continue  to  be  the  same,  highly  beneficial  to  the 
great  mass  of  the  people. 

By  a  statute  of  Elizabeth  it  was  made  a  capital 


offence,  felony  without  benefit  of  clergy,  for  soldiers 
or  sailors  to  beg  on  the  high  roads  without  a  pass ; 
and  I  suppose  this  statute  arose  from  their  frequently 
robbing  on  the  highways  in  the  character  of  beg- 
gars. There  must  at  that  time  have  been  an  im- 
mense number  of  soldiers  in  the  transition  state  in 
England ;  men  who  disdained  the  labours  of  peace- 
ful life,  or  had  by  long  habit  become  unfitted  for 
them.  Religious  mendicity  has  hitherto  been  the 
great  safety  valve  through  which  the  unquiet  transi- 
tion spirit  has  found  vent  under  our  strong  and 
settled  government.  A  Hindoo  of  any  caste  may 
become  a  religious  mendicant  of  the  two  great 
monastic  orders  of  Gosaens,  who  are  disciples  of 
Sewa,  and  Byragies,  who  are  disciples  of  Vishnoo ; 
and  any  Maliomedan  may  become  a  Fakeer — and 
Gosaens,  Byragies,  and  Fakeers,  can  always  secure 
or  extort  food  from  the  communities  they  visit. 

Still,  however,  there  is  enough  of  this  unquiet 
transition  spirit  left  to  give  anxiety  to  a  settled 
government ;  for  the  moment  insurrection  breaks 
out  at  any  point,  from  whatever  cause,  to  that 
point  thousands  are  found  flocking  from  north, 
east,  west,  and  south,  with  their  arms  and  their 
horses,  if  they  happen  to  have  any,  in  the  hope  of 
finding  service  either  under  the  local  authorities  or 
the  insurgents  themselves;  as  the  troubled  winds 
of  heaven  rush  to  the  point  where  the  pressure  of 
the  atmosphere  has  been  diminished. 




On  the  10th,  we  came  on  ten  miles  over  a  plain 
to  Goverdhun,  a  place  celebrated  in  ancient  history 
as  the  birth-place  of  Krishna,  the  seventh  incar- 
nation of  the  Hindoo  god  of  preservation,  Vishnoo, 
and  the  scene  of  his  dalliance  with  the  milk-maids, 
(gofrees  ;)  and  in  modern  days,  as  the  burial  or  burn- 
ing place  of  the  Jat  chiefs  of  Bhurtpore  and  Deeg, 
by  whose  tombs,  with  their  endowments,  this  once 
favourite  abode  of  the  god  is  prevented  from  being 
entirely  deserted.  The  town  stands  upon  a  narrow 
ridge  of  sandstone  hills,  about  ten  miles  long,  rising 
suddenly  out  of  the  alluvial  plain,  and  running  north, 
east,  and  south-west.  The  population  is  now  very 
small  and  composed  chiefly  of  Brahmans,  who  are 
supported  by  the  endowments  of  these  tombs,  and 
the  contributions  of  a  few  pilgrims.  All  our  Hindoo 
followers  were  much  gratified,  as  we  happened  to 


arrive  on  a  day  of  peculiar  sanctity ;   and  they  were 
enabled  to  bathe  and  perform  their  devotions  to  the 
different  shrines  with  the  prospect  of  great  advan- 
tage.    This  range  of  hills  is  believed  by  Hindoos,  to 
be  part  of  a  fragment  of  the  Himmalah  mountains 
which  Hunnooman,  the  monkey  general  of  Ram,  the 
sixth   incarnation  of  Vishnoo,  was  taking  down  to 
aid  his  master  in  the  formation  of  his  bridge  from 
the   continent  to  the  island  of  Ceylon,   when  en- 
gaged in  the  war  with  the  demon  king  of  that  island 
for  the  recovery  of  his  wife  Seeta.     He   made  a 
false  step  by  some  accident  in  passing  Goverdhun, 
and  this  small  bit  of  his  load  fell  off.     The  rocks 
begged  either  to  be  taken  on  to  the  god  Ram,  or 
back  to  their  old  place ;  but  Hunnooman  was  hard 
pressed  for  time,  and  told  them  not  to  be  uneasy,  as 
they  would  have  a  comfortable  resting  place,  and  be 
worshipped  by  millions  in   future  ages  —  thus,   ac- 
cording to  popular  belief,  foretelling  that  it  would 
become  the  residence  of  a  future  incarnation,  and 
the  scene   of  Krishna's   miracles.     The  range  was 
then  about  twenty  miles  long,  ten  having  since  dis- 
appeared under  the  ground.     It  was  of  full  length 
during  Krishna's  days ;  and  on  one  occasion  he  took 
up  the  whole  upon  his  little  finger,  to   defend  his 
favourite  town  and  its  milk-maids  from  the  wrath  of 
Judar,  who  got  angry  with  the  people,   and  poured 
down  upon  them  a  shower  of  burning  ashes ! 

As  I  rode  along  this  range,  which  rises  gently 
from  the  plains  at  both  ends  and  abruptly  from  the 


sides,  with  my  groom  by  my  side,  I  asked  him  what 
made  Hunnooman  drop  all  his  burthen  here? 

"  All  his  burthen !"  exclaimed  he  with  a  smile ; 
"  had  it  been  all  would  it  not  have  been  an  immense 
mountain,  with  all  its  towns  and  villages ;  while  this 
is  but  an  insignificant  belt  of  rock !  A  mountain 
upon  the  back  of  the  men  of  former  days,  sir,  was  no 
more  than  a  bundle  of  grass  upon  the  back  of  one  of 
your  grass-cutters  in  the  present  day." 

Nuthoo,  whose  mind  had  been  full  of  the  wonders 
of  this  place,  from  his  infancy,  happened  to  be  with 
us,  and  he  now  chimed  in. 

"  It  was  night  when  Hunnooman  passed  this 
place ;  and  the  lamps  were  seen  burning  in  a  hun- 
dred towns  upon  the  mountain  he  had  upon  his  back 
— the  people  were  all  at  their  usual  occupations, 
quite  undisturbed ;  this  is  a  mere  fragment  of  his 
great  burthen !" 

"  And  how  was  it  that  the  men  of  those  towns 
should  have  been  so  much  smaller  than  the  men  who 
carried  them  ?" 

"  God  only  knew ;  but  the  fact  of  the  men  of  the 
plains  having  been  so  large  was  undisputed — their 
beards  were  as  many  miles  long  as  those  of  the 
present  day  are  inches !  Did  not  Bheem  throw  the 
forty  cubit  stone  pillar,  that  now  stands  at  Eerun, 
a  distance  of  thirty  miles,  after  the  man  who  was 
running  away  with  his  cattle !" 

I  thought  of  poor  father  Gregory  at  Agra ;  and 
the  heavy  sigh  he  gave  when  asked  by  Godby  what 


progress  he  was  making  among  the  people  in  the 
way  of  conversion.  The  faith  of  these  people  is  cer- 
tainly larger  than  all  themustard-seeds  in  the  world  ! 
I  told  a  very  opulent  and  respectable  Hindoo 
banker  one  day,  that  it  seemed  to  us  strange  that 
Vishnoo  should  come  upon  the  earth  merely  to  sport 
with  milk-maids,  and  to  hold  up  an  umbrella,  how- 
ever large,  to  defend  them  from  a  shower.  "  The 
earth,  sir,"  said  he,  "  was  at  that  time  infested  with 
innumerable  demons  and  giants,  who  swallowed  up 
men  and  women  as  bears  swallow  white  ants ;  and 
his  highness,  Krishna,  came  down  to  destroy  them. 
His  own  mother's  brother,  Kuns,  who  then  reigned 
at  Mutra  over  Goverdhun,  was  one  of  these  hor- 
rible demons.  Hearing  that  his  sister  would  give  birth 
to  a  son,  that  was  to  destroy  him,  he  put  to  death 
several  of  her  progeny  as  soon  as  they  were  born. 
When  Krishna  was  seven  days  old,  he  sent  a  nurse, 
with  poison  on  her  nipple,  to  destroy  him  likewise ; 
but  his  highness  gave  such  a  pull  at  it,  that  the  nurse 
dropped  down  dead  !  In  falling  she  resumed  her  real 
shape  of  a  she  demon,  and  her  body  covered  no  less 
than  six  square  miles ;  and  it  took  several  thousand 
men  to  cut  her  up,  and  burn  her,  and  prevent  the 
pestilence  that  must  have  followed.  His  uncle  then 
sent  a  crane,  which  caught  up  his  highness,  who  al- 
ways looked  very  small  for  his  age,  and  swallowed 
him  as  he  would  swallow  a  frog  !  But  his  highness 
kicked  up  such  a  rumpus  in  the  bird's  stomach,  that 



he  was  immediately  thrown  up  again.  When  he  was 
seven  years  old  his  uncle  invited  him  to  a  feast,  and 
got  the  largest  and  most  ferocious  elephant  in  India 
to  tread  him  to  death  as  he  alighted  at  the  door. 
His  highness,  though  then  not  higher  than  my  waist, 
took  the  enormous  beast  by  one  tusk,  and  after  whirl- 
ing him  round  in  the  air  with  one  hand  half  a  dozen 
times,  he  dashed  him  on  the  ground  and  killed  him ! 
Unable  any  longer  to  stand  the  wickedness  of  his 
uncle,  he  seized  him  by  the  beard,  dragged  him  from 
his  throne,  and  dashed  him  to  the  ground  in  the 
same  manner." 

I  thought  of  poor  old  Father  Gregory  and  the 
mustard-seeds  again ;  and  told  my  rich  old  friend, 
that  it  all  appeared  to  us  indeed  passing  strange ! 

The  orthodox  belief  among  the  Mahomedans  is, 
that  Moses  was  sixty  yards  high ;  that  he  carried  a 
mace  sixty  yards  long;  and  that  he  sprang  sixty 
yards  from  the  ground,  when  he  aimed  the  fatal  blow 
at  the  giant  Ooj,  the  son  of  Anak,  who  came  from 
the  land  of  Canaan,  with  a  mountain  upon  his  back, 
to  crush  the  army  of  Israelites.  Still  the  head  of  his 
mace  could  reach  only  to  the  ankle-bone  of  the 
giant.  This  was  broken  with  the  blow  !  The  giant 
fell,  and  was  crushed  under  the  weight  of  his  own 
mountain.  Now,  a  person  whose  ankle-bone  was  one 
hundred  and  eighty  yards  high,  must  have  been  al- 
most as  prodigious  as  he  who  carried  the  fragment 
of  the  Himmalah  upon  his  back ;  and  he  who  be- 


lieves  in  the  one  cannot  fairly  find  fault  with  his 
neighbour  for  believing  in  the  other. 

I  was  one  day  talking  with  a  very  sensible  and 
respectable  Hindoo  gentleman  of  Bundelcund,  about 
the  accident  which  made  Hunnooman  drop  this  frag- 
ment of  his  load  at  Goverdhun.  "  All  doubts  upon 
that  point,"  said  the  old  gentleman,  "  have  been  put 
at  rest  by  holy  writ.  It  is  related  in  our  scrip- 

"  Bhurut,  the  brother  of  Ram,  was  left  regent  of 
the  kingdom  of  Adjoodheea  during  his  absence  at 
the  conquest  of  Ceylon.  He  happened  at  night  to 
see  Hunnooman  passing  with  the  mountain  upon  his 
back,  and  thinking  he  might  be  one  of  the  king  of 
Ceylon's  demons  about  mischief,  he  let  fly  one  of 
his  blunt  arrows  at  him.  It  hit  him  on  the  leg,  and 
he  fell,  mountain  and  all,  to  the  ground.  As  he  fell 
he  called  out  in  his  agony,  '  Ram,  Ram,'  from  which 
Bhurut  discovered  his  mistake.  He  went  up,  raised 
him  in  his  arms,  and  with  his  kind  attentions  restored 
him  to  his  senses.  Learning  from  him  the  object  of 
his  journey,  and  fearing  that  his  wounded  brother, 
Luckmun,  would  die  before  he  could  get  to  Ceylon 
with  the  requisite  remedy,  he  offered  to  send  Hunnoo- 
man on  upon  the  barb  of  one  of  his  arrows,  moun- 
tain and  all.  To  try  him,  Hunnooman  took  up  his 
mountain,  and  seated  himself  with  it  upon  the  barb 
of  the  arrow,  as  desired.  Bhurut  placed  the  arrow 
to  the  string  of  his  bow,  and  drawing  it  till  the  barb 
touched  the  bow,    asked    Hunnooman  whether  he 

VOL.  II.  H 


was  ready.  *  Quite  ready,'  said  Hunnooman ;  '  but 
I  am  now  satisfied  that  you  are  really  the  brother  of 
our  prince,  and  regent  of  his  kingdom,  which  was  all 
I  desired.  Pray  let  me  descend  ;  and  be  sure  that 
I  shall  be  at  Ceylon  in  time  to  save  your  wounded 
brother.  He  got  off,  knelt  down,  placed  his  fore- 
head on  Bhurut's  foot  in  submission,  resumed  his 
load,  and  was  at  Ceylon  by  the  time  the  day  broke 
next  morning,  leaving  behind  him  the  small  and  in- 
significant fragment,  on  which  the  town  and  temples 
of  Goverdhun  now  stand. 

"  While  little  Krishna  was  frisking  about  among 
the  milk-maids  of  Goverdhun,"  continued  my  old 
friend,  "  stealing  their  milk,  cream,  and  butter, 
Brimha,  the  creator  of  the  universe,  who  had  heard 
of  his  being  an  incarnation  of  Vishnoo,  the  great  pre- 
server of  the  universe,  visited  the  place,  and  had 
some  misgivings,  from  his  size  and  employment,  as 
to  his  real  character.  To  try  him,  he  took  off  through 
the  sky  a  herd  of  cattle,  on  which  some  of  his  favou- 
rite playmates  were  attending,  old  and  young,  boys 
and  all.  Krishna,  knowing  how  much  the  parents  of 
the  boys,  and  owners  of  the  cattle  would  be  dis- 
tressed, created,  in  a  moment,  another  herd  and  other 
attendants,  so  exactly  like  those  that  Brimha  had 
taken,  that  the  owners  of  the  one,  and  the  parents 
of  the  other,  remained  ignorant  of  the  change.  Even 
the  new  creations  themselves  remained  equally  igno- 
rant ;  and  the  cattle  walked  into  their  stalls,  and  the 
boys  into  their  houses,  where  they  recognised  and 


were  recognised  by  their  parents,  as  if  nothing  had 

"  Brimha  was  now  satisfied  that  Krishna  was  a 
true  incarnation  of  Vishnoo,  and  restored  to  him  the 
real  herd  and  attendants.  The  others  were  removed 
out  of  the  way  by  Krishna,  as  soon  as  he  saw  the 
real  ones  coming  back." 

"  But,"  said  I  to  the  good  old  man,  who  told  me 
this  with  a  grave  face,  "  must  they  not  have  suffered 
in  passing  from  the  life  given  to  death  ;  and  why 
create  them  merely  to  destroy  them  again?" 

"  Was  he  not  god  the  creator  himself?"  said  the 
old  man ;  "  does  he  not  send  one  generation  into 
the  world  after  another  to  fulfil  their  destiny,  and 
then  to  return  to  the  earth  from  which  they  came, 
just  as  he  spreads  over  the  land  the  grass  and  the 
com  ?  all  is  gathered  in  its  season,  or  withers  as  that 
passes  away,  and  dies." 

The  old  gentleman  might  have  quoted  Words- 

"  We  die,  my  friend. 
Nor  we  alone,  but  that  which  each  man  loved 
And  prized  in  his  peculiar  nook  of  earth 
Dies  with  him,  or  is  changed ;  and  very  soon. 
Even  of  the  good  is  no  memorial  left." 

I  was  one  day  out  shooting  with  my  friend,  the 
Rajah  of  Myhere,  under  the  Vindhya  range,  which 
rises  five  or  six  hundred  feet,  almost  perpendicularly. 
He  was  an  excellent  shot  with  an  English  double- 

H  2 


barrel,  and  had  with  him  six  men  just  as  good.  I 
asked  him  "  whether  we  were  likely  to  fall  in  with 
any  hares,"  making  use  of  the  term  "  Khurgosh,"  or 

"  Certainly  not,"  said  the  Rajah,  "  if  you  begin  by 
abusing  them  with  such  a  name ;  call  them  '  Lum- 
kunas,'  sir,  long-eared,  and  we  shall  get  plenty." 

He  shot  one,  and  attributed  my  bad  luck  to  the 
opprobrious  name  I  had  used.  While  he  was  re- 
loading, I  took  occasion  to  ask  him  "  how  this  range 
of  hills  had  grown  up  where  it  was?" 

"  No  one  can  say,"  replied  the  Rajah ;  "  but  we 
believe,  that  when  Ram  went  to  recover  his  wife, 
Seeta,  from  the  demon  king  of  Ceylon,  Rawun,  he 
wanted  to  throw  a  bridge  across  from  the  continent 
to  the  island,  and  sent  some  of  his  followers  up  to 
the  Himmalah  mountains  for  stones.  He  had  com- 
pleted his  bridge  before  they  all  returned ;  and  a 
messenger  was  sent  to  tell  those  who  had  not  yet 
come,  to  throw  down  their  burthens,  and  rejoin  him 
in  all  haste.  Two  long  lines  of  these  people  had  got 
thus  far,  on  their  return,  when  the  messenger  met 
them.  They  threw  down  their  loads  here,  and  here 
they  have  remained  ever  since,  one  forming  the 
Vindhya  range  to  the  north  of  this  valley,  and  the 
other  the  Kymore  range  to  the  south.  The  Vindhya 
range  extends  from  Mirzapore,  on  the  Ganges,  nearly 
to  the  Gulf  of  Cambay,  some  six  or  seven  hundred 
miles,  so  that  my  sporting  friend's  faith  was  as  capa- 
cious as  any  priest  could  well  wish  it ;  and  those 


THE    EMPTY    TANK.  101 

who  have  it  are  likely  never  to  die,  or  suffer  much, 
from  an  overstretch  of  the  reasoning  faculties  in  a 
hot  climate. 

The  town  stands  upon  the  belt  of  rocks,  about  two 
miles  from  its  north-eastern  extremity ;  and  in  the 
midst  is  the  handsome  tomb  of  Runjeet  Sing,  who 
defended  Bhurtpore  so  bravely  against  Lord  Lake's 
army.  The  tomb  has,  on  one  side,  a  tank  filled  with 
water :  and  on  the  other  another,  much  deeper  than 
the  first,  but  without  any  water  at  all.  We  were 
surprised  at  this,  and  asked  what  the  cause  could  be. 
The  people  told  us,  with  the  air  of  men  who  had 
never  known  what  it  was  to  feel  the  uneasy  sensation 
of  doubt,  "  that  Krishna  one  hot  day,  after  skying 
with  the  milk-maids,  had  drunk  it  all  dry ;  and  that 
no  water  would  ever  stay  in  it,  lest  it  might  be 
quaffed  by  less  noble  lips!"  No  orthodox  Hindoo 
would  ever  for  a  moment  doubt  that  this  was  the 
real  cause  of  the  phenomenon.  Happy  people !  How 
much  do  they  escape  of  that  pain,  which  in  hot  cli- 
mates wears  us  all  down  in  our  efforts  to  trace 
moral  and  physical  phenomena  to  their  real  causes 
and  sources  I  Mind  !  mind !  mind  !  without  any  of 
it,  those  Europeans  who  eat  and  drink  moderately, 
might  get  on  very  well  in  this  climate.  Much  of  it 
weighs  them  down. 

"  Oh,  sir,  the  good  die  first. 

And  those  whose  hearts  (brains)  are  dry  as  summer  dust 

Bum  to  the  socket." 

One  is  apt  sometimes  to  think  that    Mahomed, 


Menu,  and  Confucius  would  have  been  great  be- 
nefactors in  saving  so  many  millions  of  their  species 
from  the  pain  of  thinking  too  much  in  hot  climates, 
if  they  had  only  written  their  books  in  languages 
less  difficult  of  acquirement!  Their  works  are  at 
once  "  the  bane  and  antidote"  of  despotism — the 
source  whence  it  comes,  and  the  shield  which  defends 
the  people  from  its  consuming  fire. 

The  tomb  of  Soorajmull,  the  great  founder  of  the 
Jat  power  at  Bhurtpore,  stands  on  the  north-east 
extremity  of  this  belt  of  rocks,  about  two  miles  from 
the  town,  and  is  an  extremely  handsome  building, 
conceived  in  the  very  best  taste,  and  executed  in  the 
very  best  style.*  With  its  appendages  of  temples 
and  smaller  tombs,  it  occupies  the  whole  of  one  side 
of  a  magnificent  tank  full  of  clear  water ;  and  on  the 
other  side  it  looks  into  a  large  and  beautiful  garden. 
All  the  buildings  and  pavements  are  formed  of  the 
fine  white  sandstone  of  Roop  Bass,  scarcely  inferior 
either  in  quality  or  appearance  to  white  marble.  The 
stone  is  carved  in  relief,  with  flowers  in  good  taste. 
In  the  centre  of  the  tomb  is  the  small  marble  slab 
covering  the  grave,  with  the  two  feet  of  Krishna 
carved  in  the  centre,  and  around  them  the  emblems 
of  the  god,  the  discus,  the  skull,  the  sword,  the 
rosary.  These  emblems  of  the  god  are  put  on,  that 
people  may  have  something  godli/  to  fix  their  thoughts 
upon.  It  is  by  degrees,  and  with  a  little  ''fear  and 
trembling^''  that  the  Hindoos  imitate  the  Mahome- 
*  See  illustration. 

JAT   TOMBS.  103 

dans  in  the  magnificence  of  their  tombs.     The  ob- 
ject is  ostensibly  to  keep  the  ground  on  which  the 
bodies  have  been  burned  from  being  defiled;  and 
generally  Hindoos  have  been  content  to  raise  small 
open  terraces  of  brick  and  stucco  work  over  the  spot, 
with  some  image  or  emblem  of  the  god  upon  it.    The 
Jats  here,  like  the  princes  and  Gosaens  in  Bundel- 
cund,  have  gone  a  stage  beyond  this,    and  raised 
tombs,  equal  in  costliness  and  beauty,  to  those  over 
Mahomedans  of  the  highest  rank ;  still  they  will  not 
venture  to  leave  it  without  a  divine  image  or  emblem, 
lest  the  gods  might  become  jealous,   and   revenge 
themselves  upon  the  souls  of  the  deceased,  and  the 
bodies  of  the  living.     On  one  side  of  Soorajmull's 
tomb  is  that    of  his  wife,    or  some  other    female 
member  of  his  family  ;  and  upon  the  slab  over  her 
grave,  that  is,  over  the  precise  spot  where  she  was 
burned,  are  the  same  emblems,  except  the  sword,  for 
which  a  necklace  is  substituted.     At  each  end  of 
this  range  of  tombs  stands  a  temple  dedicated  to 
Buldeo,  the  brother  of  Krishna ;  and  in  one  of  them 
I  found  his  image,  with  large  eyes,  a  jet  black  com- 
plexion, and  an  African  countenance.     Why  is  this 
that  Buldeo  should  be  always  represented  of  this 
countenance  and  colour ;  and  his   brother  Krishna, 
either  white,  or  of  an  azure  colour,  and  the  Caucor 
sian  countenance? 

The  inside  of  the  tomb  is  covered  with  beautiful 
snow-white  stucco  work,  that  resembles  the  finest 
marble;   but  this  is  disfigured   by  wretched  paint- 


ings,  representing,  on  one  side  of  the  dome,  Sooraj- 
mull,  in  Durbar,  smoking  his  hookah,  and  giving 
orders  to  his  ministers ;  in  another  he  is  at  his  devo- 
tions ;  on  the  third,  at  his  sports,  shooting  hogs  and 
deer ;  and  on  the  fourth,  at  war,  with  some  French 
officers  of  distinction  figuring  before  him.  He  is 
distinguished  by  his  portly  person  in  all,  and  by  his 
favourite  light-brown  dress  in  three  places.  At  his 
devotions  he  is  standing  all  in  white,  before  the  tute- 
lary god  of  his  house,  Hurdeo,  In  various  parts, 
Krishna  is  represented  at  his  sports  with  the  milk- 
maids. The  colours  are  gaudy,  and  apparently  as 
fresh  as  when  first  put  on  eighty  years  ago ;  but  the 
paintings  are  all  in  the  worst  possible  taste  and  style. 
Inside  the  dome  of  Runjeet  Sing's  tomb,  the  siege 
of  Bhurtpore  is  represented  in  the  same  rude  taste 
and  style.  Lord  Lake  is  dismounted,  and  standing 
before  his  white  horse  giving  orders  to  his  soldiers. 
On  the  opposite  side  of  the  dome,  Runjeet  Sing,  in  a 
plain  white  dress,  is  standing  erect  before  his  idol,  at 
his  devotions,  with  his  ministers  behind  him.  On 
the  other  two  sides  he  is  at  his  favourite  field  sports. 
What  strikes  one  most  in  all  this  is  the  entire  ab- 
sence of  priestcraft  He  wanted  all  his  revenue  for 
his  soldiers ;  and  his  tutelary  god  seems,  in  conse- 
quence, to  have  been  well  pleased  to  dispense  with 
the  mediatory  services  of  priests.  There  are  few 
temples  anywhere  to  be  seen  in  the  territories  of 
these  Jat  chiefs ;  and,  as  few  of  their  subjects  have 
yet  ventured  to  follow  them  in  this  innovation  upon 


old  Hindoo  usages  of  building  tombs,  the  countries 
under  their  dominion  are  less  richly  ornamented  than 
those  of  their  neighbours.  Those  who  build  tombs 
or  temples  generally  surround  them  with  groves  of 
mangoe  and  other  fine  fruit  trees,  with  good  wells  to 
supply  water  for  them,  and  if  they  have  the  means 
they  add  tanks,  so  that  every  religious  edifice,  or  work 
of  ornament,  leads  to  one  or  more  of  utility.  So  it 
was  in  Europe;  often  the  northern  hordes  swept 
away  all  that  had  grown  up  under  the  institutions  of 
the  Romans  and  the  Saracens :  for  almost  all  the  great 
works  of  ornament  and  utility,  by  which  these  countries 
became  first  adorned  and  enriched,  had  their  origin  in 
church  establishments.  That  portion  of  India,  where 
the  greater  part  of  the  revenue  goes  to  the  priest- 
hood, will  generally  be  much  more  studded  with 
works  of  ornament  and  utility  than  that  in  which 
the  greater  part  goes  to  the  soldiery.  I  once  asked 
a  Hindoo  gentleman,  who  had  travelled  all  over 
India,  What  part  of  it  he  thought  most  happy  and 
beautiful  ?  He  mentioned  some  part  of  southern 
India,  about  Tanjore,  I  think,  where  you  could  hardly 
go  a  mile  without  meeting  a  happy  procession,  or 
coming  to  a  temple  full  of  priests,  or  find  an  acre  of 
land  uncultivated. 

The  countries  under  the  Mahratta  government  im- 
proved much  in  appearance,  and  in  happiness,  I  be- 
lieve, after  the  mayors  of  the  palace,  who  were 
Brahmans,  assumed  the  government,  and  put  aside 
the  Suttarah  Rajahs,  the  descendants  of  the  great 


Sewajee.  Wherever  they  could  they  conferred  the 
government  of  their  distant  territories  upon  Brah- 
mans,  who  filled  all  the  high  offices  under  them  with 
men  of  the  same  caste,  who  spent  the  greater  part  of 
their  incomes  in  tombs,  temples,  groves,  and  tanks, 
that  embellished  and  enriched  the  face  of  the  coun- 
try, and  thereby  diffused  a  taste  for  such  works  ge- 
nerally among  the  people  they  governed.  The  ap- 
pearance of  those  parts  of  the  Mahratta  dominion  so 
governed  is  infinitely  superior  to  that  of  the  coun- 
tries governed  by  the  leaders  of  the  military  class, 
such  as  Scindheea,  Hoolcar,  and  the  Ghoosla,  whose 
capitals  are  still  mere  standing  camps — a  collection 
of  hovels ;  and  whose  countries  are  almost  entirely 
devoid  of  all  those  works  of  ornament  and  utility 
that  enrich  and  adorn  those  of  their  neighbours. 
They  destroyed  all  they  found  in  those  countries 
when  they  conquered  them;  and  they  have  had 
neither  the  wisdom  nor  the  taste  to  raise  others  to 
supply  their  places.  The  Seikh  government  is  of 
exactly  the  same  character ;  and  the  countries  they 
governed  have,  I  believe,  the  same  wretched  appear- 
ance— they  are  swarms  of  human  locusts,  who  prey 
upon  all  that  is  calculated  to  enrich  and  embellish 
the  face  of  the  land  they  infest,  and  all  that  can 
tend  to  improve  men  in  their  social  relations,  and  to 
link  their  affection  to  their  soil  and  their  govern- 
ment. A  Hindoo  prince  is  always  running  to  the  ex- 
treme— he  can  never  take  and  keep  a  middle  course. 
He  is  either  ambitious,  and  therefore  appropriates 


all  his  revenues  to  the  maintenance  of  soldiers,  to 
pour  out  in  inroads  upon  his  neighbours ;  or  he  is 
superstitious,  and  devotes  all  his  revenue  to  his 
priesthood,  who  embellish  his  country  at  the  same 
time  that  they  weaken  it,  and  invite  invasion,  as  their 
prince  becomes  less  and  less  able  to  repel  it. 

The  more  popular  belief  regarding  this  range  of 
sandstone  hills  at  Goverdhun  is,  that  Luckmun,  the 
brother  of  Ram,  having  been  wounded  by  Rawun, 
the  demon  king  of  Ceylon,  his  surgeon  declared 
that  his  wound  could  be  cured  only  by  a  decoction 
of  the  leaves  of  a  certain  tree,  to  be  found  in  a  cer- 
tain hill  in  the  Himmalah  mountains.  Hunnooman 
volunteered  to  go  for  it ;  but  on  reaching  the  place 
he  found  that  he  had  entirely  forgotten  the  descrip- 
tion of  the  tree  required ;  and,  to  prevent  mistake, 
he  took  up  the  whole  mountain  upon  his  back,  and 
walked  off  with  it  to  the  plains.  As  he  passed  Go- 
verdhun, where  Bhurut  and  Churut,  the  third  and 
fourth  brothers  of  Ram,  then  reigned,  he  was  seen 
by  them.  It  was  night ;  and  thinking  him  a  strange 
sort  of  fish,  Bhurut  let  fly  one  of  his  arrows  at  him. 
It  hit  him  in  the  leg,  and  the  sudden  jerk  caused  this 
small  fragment  of  his  huge  burden  to  fall  off.  He 
called  out  in  his  agony.  Ram,  Ram,  from  which  they 
learned  that  he  belonged  to  the  army  of  their  bro- 
ther, and  let  him  pass  on  ;  but  he  remained  lame  for 
life  from  the  wound.  This  accounts  very  satisfac- 
torily, according  to  popular  belief,  for  the  halting 
gait  of  all  the  monkeys  of  that  species — those  who 


are  descended  lineally  from  the  general,  inherit  it  of 
course  ;  and  those  who  are  not,  adopt  it  out  of  re- 
spect for  his  memory,  as  all  the  soldiers  of  Alexan- 
der contrived  to  make  one  shoulder  appear  higher 
than  another,  because  one  of  his  happened  to  be  so. 
When  he  passed,  thousands  and  tens  of  thousands  of 
lamps  were  burning  upon  his  mountain,  as  the  people 
remained  entirely  unconscious  of  the  change,  and  at 
their  usual  occupations.  Hunnooman  reached  Cey- 
lon with  his  mountain,  the  tree  was  found  upon  it, 
and  Luckmun's  wound  cured.  Goverdhun  is  now 
within  the  boundary  of  our  territory,  and  a  native 
collector  resides  here  from  Agra. 




The  people  of  Britain  are  described  by  Diodorus 
Sieulus  (book  v.  chap,  ii.)  as  in  a  very  simple  and 
rude  state,  subsisting  almost  entirely  upon  the  raw 
produce  of  the  land ;  "  but  as  being  a  people  of  much 
integrity  and  sincerity,  far  from  the  craft  and  knavery 
of  men  among  us,  contented  with  plain  and  homely 
fare,  and  strangers  to  the  luxury  and  excesses  of  the 
rich."  In  India  we  find  strict  veracity  most  preva- 
lent among  the  wildest  and  half-savage  tribes  of  the 
hills  and  jungles  in  central  India,  or  the  chain  of  the 
Himmalah  mountains ;  and  among  those  where  we 
find  it  prevail  most,  we  find  cattle-stealing  most  com- 
mon— the  men  of  one  tribe  or  one  district  not  deem- 
ing it  to  be  any  disgrace  to  lift,  or  steal,  the  cattle  of 
another.  I  have  known  the  man  among  the  Gonds 
of  the  woods  of  central  India,  whom  nothing  could 
induce  to  tell  a  lie,  join  a  party  of  robbers  to  lift  a 
herd  of  cattle  from  the  neighbouring  plains  for  no- 


thing  more  than  as  much  spirits  as  he  could  enjoy  at 
one  bout.  I  asked  a  native  gentleman  of  the  plains, 
in  the  valley  of  the  Nerbudda  one  day,  what  made 
the  people  of  the  woods  to  the  north  and  south  more 
disposed  to  speak  the  truth  than  those  more  civi- 
lized of  the  valley  itself?  "  They  have  not  yet 
learned  the  value  of  a  lie,"  said  he,  with  the  greatest 
simplicity  and  sincerity,  for  he  was  a  very  honest  and 
plain  spoken  man. 

Veracity  is  found  to  prevail  most  where  there  is 
least  to  tempt  to  falsehood,  and  most  to  be  feared 
from  it.  In  a  very  rude  state  of  society,  like  that  of 
which  I  have  been  speaking,  the  only  shape  in  which 
property  is  accumulated  is  in  cattle  ;  things  are  bar- 
tered for  each  other  without  the  use  of  a  circulating 
medium ;  and  one  member  of  a  community  has  no 
means  of  concealing  from  the  other  the  articles  of 
property  he  has.  If  they  were  to  steal  from  each 
other,  they  would  not  be  able  to  conceal  what  they 
stole — to  steal,  therefore,  would  be  of  no  advantage. 
In  such  societies  every  little  community  is  left  to 
govern  itself;  to  secure  the  rights,  and  enforce  the 
duties  of  all  its  several  members  in  their  relations 
with  each  other :  they  are  too  poor  to  pay  taxes  to 
keep  up  expensive  establishments,  and  their  govern- 
ments seldom  maintain  among  them  any  for  the  ad- 
ministration of  justice,  or  the  protection  of  life,  pro- 
perty, or  character.  All  the  members  of  such  little 
communities  will  often  unite  in  robbing  the  members 
of  another  community  of  their  flocks  and  herds,  the 


only  kind  of  property  they  have,  or  in  applauding 
those  who  most  distinguish  themselves  in  such  en- 
terprises ;  but  the  well-being  of  the  community  de- 
mands that  each  member  should  respect  the  property 
of  the  others,  and  be  punished  by  the  odium  of  all  if 
he  does  not.* 

It  is  equally  necessary  to  the  well-being  of  the 
community,  that  every  member  should  be  able  to 
rely  upon  the  veracity  of  the  other  upon  the  very 
few  points,  where  their  rights,  duties,  and  interests 
clash.  In  the  very  rudest  state  of  society,  among 
the  woods  and  hills  of  India,  the  people  have  some 
deity  whose  power  they  dread,  and  whose  name  they 
invoke,  when  much  is  supposed  to  depend  upon  the 
truth  of  what  one  man  is  about  to  declare.  The 
Peepul-tree  (Ficus  Indicus)  is  everywhere  sacred  to 
the  gods,  who  are  supposed  to  delight  to  sit  among 
its  leaves,  and  listen  to  the  music  of  their  rustling. 
The  deponent  takes  one  of  these  leaves  in  his  hand, 
and  invokes  the  god,  who  sits  above  him,  to  crush 
him,  or  those  dear  to  him,  as  he  crushes  the  leaf  in 
his  hand,  if  he  speaks  anything  but  the  truth ;  he 

*  Johnson  says,  "  Mountaineers  are  thievish  because  they  are 
poor  ;  and  having  neither  manufactures  nor  commerce,  can  grow 
rich  only  by  robbery.  They  regularly  plunder  their  neighbours, 
for  their  neighbours  are  commonly  their  enemies  ;  and  having 
lost  that  reverence  for  property,  by  which  the  order  of  civil  life  is 
preserved,  soon  consider  all  as  enemies,  whom  they  do  not  reckon 
on  as  friends,  and  think  themselves  licensed  to  invade  whatever 
they  are  not  obliged  to  protect." 


then  plucks  and  crushes  the  leaf,  and  states  what  he 
has  to  say. 

The  large  cotton-tree  is  among  the  wild  tribes  of 
India,  the  favourite  seat  of  gods  still  more  terrible, 
because  their  superintendence  is  confined  exclusively 
to  the  neighbourhood;  and  having  their  attentions 
less  occupied,  they  can  venture  to  make  a  more 
minute  scrutiny  into  the  conduct  of  the  people  im- 
mediately around  them.  The  Peepul  is  occupied  by 
one  or  other  of  the  Hindoo  triad,  the  god  of  creation, 
preservation,  or  destruction,  who  have  the  affairs  of 
the  universe  to  look  after ;  but  the  cotton  and  other 
trees  are  occupied  by  some  minor  deities,  who  are 
vested  with  a  local  superintendence  over  the  affairs  of 
a  district,  or  perhaps  of  a  single  village.  These  are 
always  in  the  view  of  the  people,  and  every  man 
knows  that  he  is  every  moment  liable  to  be  taken  to 
their  court,  and  to  be  made  to  invoke  their  vengeance 
upon  himself,  or  those  dear  to  him,  if  he  has  told  a 
falsehood  in  what  he  has  stated,  or  tells  one  in  what 
he  is  about  to  state.  Men  so  situated  adhere  habi- 
tually, and,  I  may  say  religiously,  to  the  truth ;  and 
I  have  had  before  me  hundreds  of  cases  in  which  a 
man's  property,  liberty,  or  life,  has  depended  upon 
his  telling  a  lie,  and  he  has  refused  to  tell  it  to  save 
either — as  my  friend  told  me,  "  they  had  not  learned 
the  value  of  a  lie,"  or  rather  they  had  not  learned 
with  how  much  impunity  a  lie  could  be  told  in 
the  tribunals  of  civilized  society.  In  their  own  tri- 
bunals, under  the  Peepul-tree  or  cotton-tree,  imagi- 


nation  commonly  did  what  the  deities,  who  were 
supposed  to  preside,  had  the  credit  of  doing ;  if  the 
deponent  told  a  lie,  he  believed  that  the  deity  who 
sat  on  the  sylvan  throne  above  him,  and  searched  the 
heart  of  man,  must  know  it ;  and  from  that  moment 
he  knew  no  rest — he  was  always  in  dread  of  his 
vengeance :  if  any  accident  happened  to  him,  or  to 
those  dear  to  him,  it  was  attributed  to  this  offended 
deity ;  and  if  no  accident  happened,  some  evil  was 
brought  about  by  his  own  disordered  imagination. 

In  the  tribunals  we  introduce  among  them,  such 
people  soon  find  that  the  judges  who  preside  can 
seldom  search  deeply  into  the  hearts  of  men,  or 
clearly  distinguish  truth  from  falsehood  in  the  de- 
clarations of  deponents ;  and  when  they  can  distin- 
guish it,  it  is  seldom  that  they  can  secure  their  con- 
viction for  perjury.  They  generally  learn  very  soon, 
that  these  judges,  instead  of  being,  like  the  judges 
of  their  own  woods  and  wilds,  the  only  beings  who 
can  search  the  hearts  of  men,  and  punish  them  for 
falsehood,  are  frequently  the  persons,  of  all  others, 
most  blind  to  the  real  state  of  the  deponent's  mind, 
and  the  degree  of  truth  and  falsehood  in  his  narra- 
tive ;  that,  however  well-intentioned,  they  are  often 
labouring  in  the  "  darkness  visible,"  created  by  the 
native  officers  around  tliem.  They  not  only  learn 
this,  but  they  learn  what  is  still  worse,  that  they  may 
tell  what  lies  they  please  in  these  tribunals ;  and  that 
not  one  of  them  shall  become  known  to  the  circle 
in  which  they  move,  and  whose  good  opinion  they 

VOL.    II.  I 


value.  If,  by  his  lies  told  in  such  tribunals,  a  man  has 
robbed  another,  or  caused  him  to  be  robbed  of  his 
property,  his  character,  his  liberty,  or  his  life,  he  can 
easily  persuade  the  circle  in  which  he  resides,  that  it 
has  arisen,  not  from  any  false  statements  of  his,  but 
from  the  blindness  of  the  judge,  or  the  wickedness  of 
the  native  officers  of  his  court,  because  all  circles  con- 
sider the  blindness  of  the  one,  and  the  wickedness  of 
the  other,  to  be  everywhere  very  great. 

Arrian,  in  speaking  of  the  class  of  supervisors  in 
India,  says — "  They  may  not  be  guilty  of  falsehood ; 
and  indeed  none  of  the  Indians  were  ever  accused 
of  that  crime."  I  believe  that  as  little  falsehood  is 
spoken  by  the  people  of  India,  in  their  village  com- 
munities, as  in  any  part  of  the  world  with  an  equal 
area  and  population.  It  is  in  our  courts  of  justice 
where  falsehoods  prevail  most,  and  the  longer  they 
have  been  anywhere  established,  the  greater  the  de- 
gree of  falsehood  that  prevails  in  them.  Those  en- 
trusted with  the  administration  of  a  newly-acquired 
territory,  are  surprised  to  find  the  disposition  among 
both  principals  and  witnesses  in  cases  to  tell  the 
plain  and  simple  truth.  As  magistrates,  they  find  it 
very  often  difficult  to  make  thieves  and  robbers  tell 
lies,  according  to  the  English  fashion,  to  avoid  run- 
ning a  risk  of  criminating  themselves.  In  England, 
this  habit  of  making  criminals  tell  lies,  arose  from 
the  severity  of  the  penal  code,  which  made  the 
punishment  so  monstrously  disproportionate  to  the 
crime,  that  the  accused,  however  clear  and  notorious 


his  crime,  became  an  object  of  general  sympathy. 
In  India,  punishments  have  nowhere  been,  under  our 
rule,  disproportionate  to  the  crimes  ;  on  the  contrary, 
they  have  been  generally  more  mild  than  the  people 
would  wish  them  to  be,  or  think  they  ought  to 
be,  in  order  to  deter  from  similar  crimes ;  and  in 
newly-acquired  territories  they  have  generally  been 
more  mild  than  in  our  old  possessions.  The  accused 
are,  therefore,  nowhere  considered  as  objects  of 
public  sympathy;  and  in  newly-acquired  territo- 
ries they  are  willing  to  tell  the  truth,  and  are  allowed 
to  do  so,  in  order  to  save  the  people  whom  they 
have  injured,  and  their  neighbours  generally,  the 
great  loss  and  annoyance  unavoidably  attending  upon 
a  summons  to  our  courts.  In  the  native  courts,  to 
which  ours  succeed,  the  truth  was  seen  through  im- 
mediately ;  the  judges  who  presided  could  commonly 
distinguish  truth  from  falsehood  in  the  evidence  be- 
fore them,  almost  as  well  as  the  sylvan  gods  who  sat 
in  the  peepul  or  cotton  trees ;  though  they  were 
seldom  supposed  by  the  people  to  be  quite  so  just  in 
their  decisions.  When  we  take  possession  of  such 
countries,  they,  for  a  time  at  least,  give  us  credit  for 
the  same  sacjacity^  with  a  little  more  integrity.  The 
prisoner  knows  that  his  neighbours  expect  him  to 
tell  the  truth  to  save  them  trouble,  and  will  detest 
him  if  he  does  not ;  he  supposes  that  we  shall  have 
the  sense  to  find  out  the  truth  whether  he  tells  it 
or  not,  and  the  humanity  to  visit  his  crime  with 
the  measure  of  punishment  it  merits,  and  no  more. 

I  2 


The  magistrate  asks  the  prisoner  what  made  him 
steal ;  and  the  prisoner  enters  at  once  into  an  ex- 
planation of  the  circumstances  which  reduced  him  to 
the  necessity  of  doing  so,  and  offers  to  bring  wit- 
nesses to  prove  them ;  but  never  dreams  of  offering 
to  bring  witnesses  to  prove  that  he  did  not  steal,  if  he 
really  had  done  so — because  the  general  feeling 
would  be  in  favour  of  his  doing  the  one,  and  against 
his  doing  the  other.  Tavernier  gives  an  amusing 
sketch  of  Ameer  Jumla  presiding  in  a  court  of  jus- 
tice, during  a  visit  he  paid  him  in  the  kingdom 
of  Golconda,  in  the  year  1648.  (See  book  i.  part  ii. 
chap,  xi.) 

I  asked  a  native  law  officer,  who  called  on  me  one 
day,  what  he  thought  would  be  the  effect  of  an  act 
to  dispense  with  oaths  on  the  Koran  and  Ganges 
water,  and  substitute  a  solemn  declaration  made  in 
the  name  of  God,  and  under  the  same  penal  liabi- 
lities, as  if  the  Koran  or  Ganges  water  had  been  in 
the  deponent's  hand.  "  I  have  practised  in  the  courts 
for  thirty  years,  sir,"  said  he  ;  "  and  during  that  time  I 
have  found  only  three  kinds  of  witnesses — two  of 
whom  would,  by  such  an  act,  be  left  precisely  where 
they  were,  while  the  third  would  be  released  by  it 
from  a  very  salutary  check." 

"  And  pray  what  are  the  three  classes  into  which 
you  divide  the  witnesses  in  our  courts?" 

"  First,  sir,  are  those  who  will  always  tell    the 

truth,  whether  they  are  required  to  state  what  they 

know  in  the  form  of  an  oath  or  not." 



"  Do  you  think  this  a  large  class  ?" 

"  Yes,  I   think  it  is ;    and  I   have  found  among 
them  many  whom  nothing  on  earth  could  make  to 
swerve  from  the  truth ;    do  what   you  please,  you 
could  never  frighten  or  bribe  them  into  a  deliberate 
falsehood.     The  second  are  those  who  will  not  hesi- 
tate to  tell  a  lie  when  they  have  a  motive  for  it,  and 
are  not  restrained  by  an  oath.     In  taking  an  oath 
they  are  afraid  of  two  things,  the  anger  of  God  and 
the  odium  of  men.  Only  three  days  ago,"  continued  my 
friend,  "  I  required  a  power  of  attorney  from  a  lady 
of  rank,  to  enable  me  to  act  for  her  in  a  case  pending 
before  the  court  in  this  town.     It  was  given  to  me 
by  her  brother ;  and  two  witnesses  came  to  declare 
that  she  had  given  it.     *  Now,'  said  I,  *  this  lady  is 
known  to  live  under  the  curtain ;  and   you  will  be 
asked  by  the  judge  whether  you  saw  her  give  this 
paper:    what  will  you  say?'     They  both  replied — 
'  If  the  judge  asks  us  the  question  without  an  oath, 
we  will  say  yes — it  will  save  much  trouble,  and  we 
know  that  she  did  give  the  paper,  though  we  did  not 
really  see  her  give  it ;  but  if  he  puts  the  Koran  into 
our  hands,  we  must  say  no,  for  we  should  otherwise 
be  pointed  at  by  all  the  town  as  perjured  wretches — 
our  enemies  would  soon  tell  everybody  that  we  had 
taken  a  false  oath.'      Now,"   my  friend    went    on, 
"  the  form  of  an  oath  is  a  great  check  upon  this  sort 
of  persons.     The  third  class  consists  of  men  who  will 
tell  lies  whenever  they  have  a  sufficient  motive,  whe- 


ther  they  have  the  Koran  or  Ganges  water  in  their 
hand  or  not.  Nothing  will  ever  prevent  their  doing 
so ;  and  the  declaration  which  you  propose  would  be 
just  as  well  as  any  other  for  them." 

"  Which  class  do  you  consider  the  most  numerous 
of  the  three?" 

"  I  consider  the  second  the  most  numerous,  and 
wish  the  oath  to  be  retained  for  them." 

"  That  is,  of  all  the  men  vou  see  examined  in  our 
courts,  you  think  the  most  come  under  the  class 
of  those  who  will,  under  the  influence  of  strong 
motives,  tell  lies  if  they  have  not  the  Koran  or 
Ganges  water  in  their  hands  ?" 

«  Yes." 

"  But  do  not  a  great  many  of  those,  whom  you 
consider  to  be  included  among  the  second  class,  come 
from  the  village  communities — the  peasantry  of  the 

"  Yes." 

"  And  do  you  not  think  that  the  greatest  part  of 
those  men  who  will  tell  lies  in  the  court,  under  the  in- 
fluence of  strong  motives,  unless  they  have  the  Koran 
or  Ganges  water  in  their  hands,  would  refuse  to  tell 
lies,  if  questioned  before  the  people  of  their  villages, 
among  the  circle  in  which  they  live  ?" 

"  Of  course  I  do ;  three-fourths  of  those  who  do 
not  scruple  to  lie  in  the  courts,  would  be  ashamed  to 
lie  before  their  neighbours,  or  the  elders  of  their 


"  You  think  that  the  people  of  the  village  com- 
munities are  more  ashamed  to  tell  lies  before  their 
neighbours  than  the  people  of  towns  ?" 

"  Much  less — there  is  no  comparison." 

"  And  the  people  of  towns  and  cities  bear  in  India 
but  a  small  proportion  to  the  people  of  the  village 

"  I  should  think  a  very  small  proportion  indeed." 

"  Then  you  think  that  in  the  mass  of  the  popula- 
tion of  India  out  of  our  courts,  and  in  their  own 
circles,  the  first  class,  or  those  who  speak  truth,  whe- 
ther they  have  the  Koran  or  Ganges  water  in  their 
hands  or  not,  would  be  found  more  numerous  than 
the  other  two?" 

"  Certainly  I  do ;  if  they  were  always  to  be  ques- 
tioned before  their  neighbours  or  elders,  or  so  that 
they  could  feel  that  their  neighbours  and  elders  would 
know  what  they  say." 

This  man  is  a  very  worthy  and  learned  Maho- 
medan,  who  has  read  all  the  works  on  medicine  to 
be  found  in  Persian  and  Arabic  ;  gives  up  his  time 
from  sunrise  in  the  morning  till  nine,  to  the  in- 
digent sick  of  the  town,  whom  he  supplies  gratuit- 
ously with  his  advice  and  medicines,  that  cost  him 
thirty  rupees  a  month,  out  of  about  one  hundred  and 
twenty,  that  he  can  make  by  his  labours  all  the  rest 
of  the  day. 

There  can  be  no  doubt,  that  even  in  England  the 
fear  of  the  odium  of  society,  which  is  sure  to  follow 
the  man  who  has  perjured  himself,  acts  more  power- 


fully  in  making  men  tell  the  truth,  when  they  have 
the  Bible  in  their  hands,  before  a  competent  and 
public  tribunal,  and  with  a  strong  worldly  motive  to 
tell  a  lie,  than  the  fear  of  punishment  by  the  Deity 
in  the  next  world,  for  "  having  taken  his  name  in 
vain"  in  this.  Christians,  as  well  as  other  people, 
are  too  apt  to  think  that  there  is  yet  abundance  of 
time  to  appease  the  Deity  by  repentance  and  refor- 
mation ;  but  they  know  that  they  cannot  escape  the 
odium  of  society  with  a  free  press  and  high  tone  of 
moral  and  religious  feeling,  like  those  of  England,  if 
they  deliberately  perjure  themselves  in  an  open  court, 
whose  proceedings  are  watched  with  so  much  jea- 
lousy. They  learn  to  dread  the  name  of  a  "  perjured 
villain"  or  "  perjured  wretch,"  which  would  embitter 
the  rest  of  their  lives,  and  perhaps  the  lives  of  their 

In  a  society  much  advanced  in  arts  and  the  re- 
finements of  life,  temptations  to  falsehood  become 
very  great,  and  require  strong  checks  from  law,  reli- 
gion, or  moral  feeling.  Religion  is  seldom  of  itself 
found  sufficient;  for  though  men  cannot  hope  to 
conceal  their  transgressions  from  the  Deity,  they 
can,  as  I  have  stated,  always  hope  in  time  to  appease 
him.     Penal  laws  are  not  alone  sufficient,  for  men 

*  The  new  act,  5  of  1840,  prescribes  the  following  declara- 
tion :  "  I  solemnly  affirm,  in  the  presence  of  Almighty  God,  that 
what  I  shall  state  shall  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing 
but  the  truth  ;"  and  declares,  that  a  false  statement  made  on  this 
shall  be  punished  as  perjury. 


can  always  hope  to  conceal  their  trespasses  from 
those  who  are  appointed  to  administer  them,  or  at 
least  to  prevent  their  getting  that  measure  of  judi- 
cial proof  required  for  their  conviction;  the  dread 
of  the  indignation  of  their  circle  of  society  is  every- 
where the  more  efficient  of  the  three  checks;  and 
this  check  will  generally  be  found  most  to  prevail 
where  the  community  is  left  most  to  self-govern- 
ment— hence  the  proverb,  "  There  is  honour  among 
thieves."  A  gang  of  robbers,  who  are  outlaws,  are 
of  course  left  to  govern  themselves  ;  and  unless  they 
could  rely  upon  each  other's  veracity  and  honour,  in 
their  relations  with  each  other,  they  could  do  nothing. 
If  governments  were  to  leave  no  degree  of  self-go- 
vernment to  the  communities  of  which  the  society 
is  composed,  this  moral  check  would  really  cease — 
the  law  would  undertake  to  secure  every  right,  and 
enforce  every  duty ;  and  men  would  cease  to  depend 
upon  each  other's  good  opinion,  and  good  feelings. 

There  is  perhaps  no  part  of  the  world  where  the 
communities  of  which  the  society  is  composed,  have 
been  left  so  much  to  self-government  as  in  India. 
There  has  seldom  been  any  idea  of  a  reciprocity  of 
duties  and  rights  between  the  governing  and  the 
governed :  the  sovereign  who  has  possession  feels 
that  he  has  a  right  to  levy  certain  taxes  from  the 
land  for  the  maintenance  of  the  public  establish- 
ments, which  he  requires  to  keep  down  rebellion 
against  his  rule,  and  to  defend  his  dominions  against 
all  who  may  wish  to  intrude,  and  seize  upon  them;  and 


to  assist  him  in  acquiring  the  dominions  of  other 
princes  when  favourable  opportunities  offer;  but  he  has 
no  idea  of  a  reciprocal  duty  towards  those  from  whom 
he  draws  his  revenues.  The  peasantry  from  whom 
the  prince  draws  his  revenues  feel  that  they  are 
bound  to  pay  that  revenue ;  that  if  they  do  not  pay 
it,  he  will,  with  his  strong  arm,  turn  them  out  and 
give  to  others  their  possessions — but  they  have  no 
idea  of  any  right  on  their  part  to  any  return  from 
him.  The  village  communities  were  everywhere  left 
almost  entirely  to  self-government ;  and  the  virtues 
of  truth  and  honesty,  in  all  their  relations  with  each 
other,  were  indispensably  necessary  to  enable  them  to 
govern  themselves.  A  common  interest  often  united 
a  good  many  village  communities  in  a  bond  of  union, 
and  established  a  kind  of  brotherhood  over  extensive 
tracts  of  richly-cultivated  land.  Self-interest  re- 
quired that  they  should  unite  to  defend  themselves 
against  attacks  with  which  they  were  threatened  at 
every  returning  harvest  in  a  country  where  every 
prince  was  a  robber  upon  a  scale  more  or  less  large 
according  to  his  means,  and  took  the  field  to  rob 
while  the  lands  were  covered  with  the  ripe  crops 
upon  which  his  troops  might  subsist ;  and  where 
every  man  who  practised  robbery  with  open  violence, 
followed  what  he  called  an  "  imperial  trade,''  "  pad- 
shahee  kam" — the  only  trade  worthy  the  character  of 
a  gentleman.  The  same  interest  required  that  they 
should  unite  in  deceiving  their  own  prince  and  all 
his  officers,  great  and  small,  as  to  the  real  resources 

VIRTUE    OF    LYING.  123 

of  their  estates;  because  they  all  knew,  that  the 
prince  would  admit  of  no  other  limits  to  his  exac- 
tions than  their  abilities  to  pay  at  the  harvest. 
Though,  in  their  relations  with  each  other,  all  these 
village  communities  spoke  as  much  truth  as  those  of 
any  other  communities  in  the  world ;  still,  in  their 
relation  with  the  government,  they  told  as  many  lies 
— for  falsehood  in  the  one  set  of  relations,  would  have 
incurred  the  odium  of  the  whole  of  their  circles  of 
society — truth  in  the  other,  would  often  have  in- 
volved the  same  penalty.  If  a  man  had  told  a  lie  to 
cheat  his  neighbour,  he  would  have  become  an  object 
of  hatred  and  contempt — if  he  had  told  a  lie  to  save 
his  neighbour's  fields  from  an  increase  of  rent  or 
tax,  he  would  have  become  an  object  of  esteem  and 
respect.  If  the  government  officers  were  asked, 
whether  there  was  any  truth  to  be  found  among  such 
communities,  they  would  say  no^  that  the  truth  was 
not  in  them ;  because  they  would  not  cut  each  other's 
throats  by  telling  them  the  real  value  of  each  other's 
fields.  If  the  peasantry  were  asked,  they  would  say, 
there  was  plenty  of  truth  to  be  found  everywhere 
except  among  a  few  scoundrels,  who,  to  curry  favour 
with  the  government  ofiScers,  betrayed  their  trust, 
and  told  the  value  of  their  neighbours'  fields.  In 
their  ideas,  he  might  as  well  have  gone  off  and 
brought  down  the  common  enemy  upon  them  in  the 
shape  of  some  princely  robber  of  the  neighbour- 
hood ! 

Locke  says,  "  Outlaws  themselves  keep  faith  and 


rules  of  justice  one  with  another — they  practise 
them  as  rules  of  convenience  within  their  own  com- 
munities ;  but  it  is  impossible  to  conceive,  that  they 
embrace  justice  as  a  practical  principle  who  act  fairly 
with  their  fellow  highwaymen,  and  at  the  same  time 
plunder  or  kill  the  next  honest  man  they  meet/' 
(Vol.  i.  p.  37.)  In  India,  the  difference  between  the 
army  of  a  prince  and  the  gang  of  a  robber  was,  in  the 
general  estimationof  the  people,  only  in  degree — they 
were  both  driving  an  imperial  trade,  a  '' padshahee 
kam  r  Both  took  the  auspices,  and  set  out  on  their 
expeditions  after  the  Duseyrah,  when  the  autumn 
crops  were  ripening;  and  both  thought  the  Deity 
propitiated  as  soon  as  they  found  the  omens  favour- 
able ;  one  attacked  palaces  and  capitals — the  other 
villages  and  merchants'  store-rooms.  The  members 
of  the  army  of  the  prince  thought  as  little  of  the 
justice  or  injustice  of  his  cause  as  those  of  the  gang 
of  the  robber ;  the  people  of  his  capital  hailed  the 
return  of  the  victorious  prince  who  had  contributed 
so  much  to  their  wealth  by  his  booty,  and  to  their 
self-love  by  his  victory.  The  village  community  re- 
ceived back  the  robber  and  his  gang  with  the  same 
feelings — by  their  skill  and  daring  they  had  come 
back  loaded  with  wealth,  which  they  were  always 
disposed  to  spend  liberally  with  their  neighbours. 
There  was  no  more  of  truth  in  the  prince  and  his 
army,  in  their  relations  with  the  princes  and  people 
of  neighbouring  principalities,  than  in  the  robber 
and    his   gang  in  their  relations  with   the   people 


robbed.  The  prince  flatters  the  self-love  of  his 
army  and  his  people ;  the  robber  flatters  that  of  his 
gang  and  his  village — the  question  is  only  in  degree  : 
the  persons  whose  self-love  is  flattered,  are  blind  to 
the  injustice  and  cruelty  of  the  attack — the  prince 
is  the  idol  of  a  people,  the  robber  the  idol  of  a  gang. 
Was  ever  robber  more  atrocious  in  his  attacks 
upon  a  merchant  or  a  village,  than  Louis  XIV. 
of  France,  in  his  attacks  upon  the  Palatine  and 
Palatinate  of  the  Rhine?  How  many  thousand 
similar  instances  might  be  quoted  of  princes  idolized 
by  their  people  for  deeds  equally  atrocious  in  their 
relations  with  other  people.  What  nation  or  sove- 
reign ever  found  fault  with  their  ambassadors  for 
telling  lies  to  the  kings,  courts,  and  people  of  other 
countries  ?* 

Rome,  during  the  whole  period  of  her  history,  was 
a  mere  den  of  execrable  thieves,  whose  feelings  were 
systematically  brutalized  by  the  most  revolting  spec- 

*  Hume,  in  speaking  of  Scotland  in  the  fifteenth  century,  says, 
"  Arms  more  than  laws  prevailed ;  and  courage,  preferably  to 
equity  and  justice,  was  the  virtue  most  valued  and  respected. 
The  nobility  in  whom  the  whole  power  resided,  were  so  connected 
by  hereditary  alliances,  or  so  divided  by  inveterate  enmities,  that 
it  was  impossible,  without  employing  an  armed  force,  either  to 
punish  the  most  flagrant  guilt,  or  to  give  security  to  the  most 
entire  innocence.  Rapine  and  violence,  when  employed  agamst  a 
hostile  tribe,  instead  of  making  a  person  odious  among  his  own  clan, 
rather  recommended  him  to  their  esteem  and  approbation  ;  and 
by  rendering  him  useful  to  the  chieftain,  entitled  him  to  the  pre- 
ference above  his  fellows." 


tacles,  that  they  might  have  none  of  those  sympathies 
with  suffering  humanity — none  of  those  "  compunc- 
tious visitings  of  conscience"  which  might  be  found 
prejudicial  to  the  interests  of  the  gang,  and  bene- 
ficial to  the  rest  of  mankind.  Take,  for  example, 
the  conduct  of  this  atrocious  gang  under  ^milius 
Paulus,  against  Epirus  and  Greece  generally  after 
the  defeat  of  Perseus,  all  under  the  deliberate  decrees 
of  the  senate — take  that  of  this  gang  under  his  son 
Scipio  the  younger,  against  Carthage  and  Numantia ; 
under  Cato,  at  Cyprus — all  in  the  same  manner  under 
the  deliberate  decrees  of  the  senate  !  Take  indeed  the 
whole  of  her  history,  as  a  republic,  and  we  find  it 
that  of  the  most  atrocious  gang  of  robbers  that  was 
ever  associated  against  the  rest  of  their  species.  In 
her  relations  with  the  rest  of  mankind,  Rome  was 
collectively  devoid  of  truth ;  and  her  citizens,  who 
were  sent  to  govern  conquered  countries,  were  no 
less  devoid  of  truth  individually — they  cared  nothing 
whatever  for  the  feelings  or  the  opinions  of  the 
people  governed ;  in  their  dealings  with  them,  truth 
and  honour  were  entirely  disregarded.  The  only 
people  whose  favourable  opinion  they  had  any  desire 
to  cultivate,  were  the  members  of  the  great  gang ; 
and  the  most  effectual  mode  of  conciliating  them 
was,  to  plunder  the  people  of  conquered  countries, 
and  distribute  the  fruits  among  them  in  presents  of 
one  kind  or  another.  Can  any  man  read  without 
shuddering,  that  it  was  the  practice  among  this 
atrocious  gang,  to  have  all  the  multitude  of  unhappy 

LOVE    AND    MURDER.  127 

prisoners  of  both  sexes,  and  of  all  ranks  and  ages,  wlio 
annually  graced  the  triumphs  of  their  generals,  taken 
off  and  murdered  just  at  the  moment  when  these 
generals  reached  the  Capitol  amid  the  shouts  of  the 
multitude,  that  their  joys  might  be  augmented  by 
the  sight  or  consciousness  of  the  sufferings  of  the 
others.  See  Hooke's  Roman  History,  vol.  iii.  p.  488 ; 
vol.  iv.  p.  541.  "  It  was  the  custom,  that  when  the 
triumphant  conqueror  turned  his  chariot  towards  the 
Capitol,  he  commanded  the  captives  to  be  led  to 
prison  and  there  put  to  death,  that  so  the  glory  of 
the  victor  and  the  miseries  of  the  vanquished  might 
be  in  the  same  moment  at  the  utmost !"  How  many 
millions  of  the  most  innocent  and  amiable  of  their 
species  must  have  been  offered  up  as  human  sacri- 
fices to  the  triumphs  of  the  leaders  of  this  great 
gang !  The  women  were  almost  as  much  brutalized 
as  the  men ;  lovers  met  to  talk  "  soft  nonsense"  at 
exhibitions  of  gladiators.  Valeria,  the  daughter  and 
sister  of  two  of  the  first  men  in  Rome,  was  beautiful, 
gay,  and  lively,  and  of  unblemished  reputation. 
Having  been  divorced  from  her  husband,  she  and  the 
monster,  Sylla,  made  love  to  each  other  at  one  of 
these  exhibitions  of  gladiators,  and  were  soon  after 
married.  Gibbon,  in  speaking  of  the  lies  which 
Severus  told  his  two  competitors  in  the  contest  for 
empire,  says,  "  Falsehood  and  insincerity,  unsuitable 
as  they  seem  to  the  dignity  of  public  transactions, 
offend  us  with  a  less  degrading  idea  of  meanness  than 
when  they  are  found  in  the  intercourse  of  private 


life.  In  the  latter,  they  discover  a  want  of  courage ; 
in  the  other,  only  a  defect  of  power :  and  as  it  is  im- 
possible for  the  most  able  statesmen  to  subdue  mil- 
lions of  followers  and  enemies  by  their  own  personal 
strength,  the  world  under  the  name  of  policy  seems 
to  have  granted  them  a  very  liberal  indulgence  of 
craft  and  dissimulation."  But  the  weak  in  society 
are  often  obliged  to  defend  themselves  against  the 
strong  by  the  same  weapons ;  and  the  world  grants 
them  the  same  liberal  indulgence.  Men  advocate 
the  use  of  the  ballot  in  elections,  that  the  weak  may 
defend  themselves  and  the  free  institutions  of  the 
country,  by  dissimulation,  against  the  strong  who 
would  oppress  them.  The  circumstances  under 
which  falsehood  and  insincerity  are  tolerated  by  the 
community  in  the  best  societies  of  modern  days,  are 
very  numerous ;  and  the  worst  society  of  modern 
days  in  the  civilized  world,  where  slavery  does  not 
prevail,  is  immeasurably  superior  to  the  best  in 
ancient  days,  or  in  the  middle  ages.  Do  we  not 
every  day  hear  men  and  women,  in  what  are  called 
the  best  societies,  declaring  to  one  individual  or  one 
set  of  acquaintances,  that  the  pity,  the  sympathy, 
the  love,  or  the  admiration  they  have  been  express- 
ing for  others,  is,  in  reality,  all  feigned  to  sooth  or 
please  ?  As  long  as  the  motive  is  not  base,  men  do 
not  spurn  the  falsehood  as  such.  How  much  of 
untruth  is  tolerated  in  the  best  circles  of  the  most 
civilized  nations,  in  the  relations  between  electors  to 
corporate  and  legislative  bodies,  and  the  candidates 


for  elections  ?  between  nominators  to  offices  under 
government  and  the  candidates  for  nomination  ?  be- 
tween lawyers  and  clients,  venders  and  purchasers  ? 
(particularly  of  horses,) — between  the  recruiting  Ser- 
jeant and  the  young  recruit,  whom  he  has  found  a 
little  angry  with  his  poor  widowed  mother,  whom  he 
makes  him  kill  by  false  pictures  of  what  a  soldier 
may  hope  for  in  the  "  bellaque  matribus  detestata" 
to  which  he  invites  him  ? 

There  is,  I  believe,  no  class  of  men  in  India  from 
whom  it  is  more  difficult  to  get  the  true  statement 
of  a  case  pending  before  a  court,  than  the  sipahees 
of  our  native  regiments  ;  and  yet  there  are,  I  believe, 
no  people  in  the  world  from  whom  it  is  more  easy  to 
get  it  in  their  own  village  communities,  where  they 
state  it  before  their  relations,  elders,  and  neighbours, 
whose  esteem  is  necessary  to  their  happiness,  and  can 
be  obtained  only  by  an  adherence  to  truth.  Every  case 
that  comes  before  a  regimental  court,  involves,  or  is 
supposed  to  involve,  the  interest  or  feelings  of  some 
one  or  other  of  their  companions ;  and  the  question 
which  the  deponent  asks  himself  is  not  what  religion, 
public  justice,  the  interests  of  discipline  and  order, 
or  the  wishes  of  his  officers  require ;  or  what  would 
appear  manly  and  honourable  before  the  elders  of  his 
own  little  village  ;  but  what  will  secure  the  esteem, 
and  what  will  excite  the  hatred  of  his  comrades. 
This  will  often  be  downright  deliberate  falsehood, 
sworn  upon  the  Koran  or  the  Ganges  water  before 

VOL.    II.  K 


his  officers.  Many  a  brave  sipahee  have  I  seen  faint 
away  from  the  agitated  state  of  his  feelings,  under 
the  dread  of  the  Deity  if  he  told  lies,  with  the  Ganges 
water  in  his  hands,  and  of  his  companions  if  he  told 
the  truth,  and  caused  them  to  be  punished.  Every 
question  becomes  a  party  question,  and  "  the  point 
of  honour"  requires,  that  every  witness  shall  tell  as 
many  lies  about  it  as  possible !  When  I  go  into  a 
village,  and  talk  with  the  people  in  any  part  of  India, 
I  know  that  I  shall  get  the  truth  out  of  them  on  all 
subjects  as  long  as  I  can  satisfy  them,  that  I  am  not 
come  on  the  part  of  the  government  to  enquire  into 
the  value  of  their  fields  with  a  view  to  new  imposi- 
tions— and  this  I  can  always  do;  but  when  I  go 
among  the  sipahees  to  ask  about  anything,  I  feel 
pretty  sure  that  I  have  little  chance  of  getting  at  the 
truth ;  they  will  take  the  alarm,  and  try  to  deceive 
me,  lest  what  I  learn  should  be  brought  up  at  some 
future  day  against  them  or  their  comrades.  The 
Duke  of  Wellington  says,  speaking  of  the  English 
soldiers :  "  It  is  most  difficult  to  convict  a  prisoner 
before  a  regimental  court-martial,  for,  I  am  sorry  to 
say,  that  soldiers  have  little  regard  to  the  oath  ad- 
ministered to  them ;  and  the  officers  who  are  sworn 
well  and  truly  to  try  and  determine,  according  to  the 
evidence,  the  matter  before  them,  have  too  much  re- 
gard to  the  strict  letter  of  that  administered  to 
them''  Again  — "  The  witnesses  being  in  almost 
every  instance  common  soldiers,  whose  conduct  this 

PERSIAN    TALE.  131 

tribunal  was  instituted  to  control,  the  consequence 
is,  that  purjury  is  almost  as  common  an  offence  as 
drunkenness  and  plunder,  &c." 

In  the  ordinary  civil  tribunals  of  Europe  and 
America,  a  man  commonly  feels,  that  though  he  is  re- 
moved far  from  the  immediate  presence  of  those 
whose  esteem  is  necessary  to  him,  their  eyes  are  still 
upon  him,  because  the  statements  he  may  give  will 
find  their  way  to  them  through  the  medium  of  the 
press.  This  he  does  not  feel  in  the  civil  courts  of 
India,  nor  in  the  military  courts  of  Europe,  or  of  any 
other  part  of  the  world ;  and  the  man  who  judges  of 
the  veracity  of  a  whole  people  from  the  specimens  he 
may  witness  in  such  courts,  cannot  judge  soundly. 
Sheikh  Sadee,  in  his  Goolistan,  has  the  following  tale. 
"  I  have  heard  that  a  prince  commanded  the  execu- 
tion of  a  captive  who  was  brought  before  him  ;  when 
the  captive  having  no  hope  of  life,  told  the  prince, 
that  he  disgraced  his  throne.  The  prince,  not  under- 
standing him,  turned  to  one  of  his  ministers  and 
asked  what  he  had  said.  *He  says,'  replied  the 
minister,  quoting  a  passage  from  the  Koran,  *  God 
loves  those  who  subdue  their  passions,  forgive  inju- 
ries, and  do  good  to  his  creatures.'  The  prince  pitied 
the  poor  captive,  and  countermanded  the  orders  for 
the  execution.  Another  minister,  who  owed  a  spite 
to  the  one  who  first  spoke,  said,  'Nothing  but 
truth  should  be  spoken  by  such  persons  as  we  in 
the  presence  of  the  prince;  the  captive  spoke  abusively 
and   insolently,  and  you   have  not   interpreted  his 

K  2 


words  truly.'  The  prince  frowned,  and  said,  '  His 
false  interpretation  pleases  me  more  than  thy  true 
one  ;  because  his  was  given  for  a  good  and  thine  for 
a  malignant  purpose ;  and  wise  men  have  said,  that 
'  a  peace-making  lie  is  better  than  a  factious  or  anger- 
exciting  truth.'"  He  who  would  too  fastidiously 
condemn  this  doctrine,  should  think  of  the  massacre 
of  Thessalonica,  and  how  much  better  it  would  have 
been  for  the  great  Theodosius  to  have  had  by  his 
side  the  peace-making  Ambrose,  Archbishop  of  Milan, 
than  the  anger-exciting  Rufinus,  when  he  heard  of 
the  offence  which  that  city  had  committed. 

In  despotic  governments,  where  lives,  characters, 
and  liberties,  are  every  moment  at  the  mercy,  not 
only  of  the  prince,  but  of  all  his  public  officers  from 
the  highest  to  the  lowest,  the  occasions  in  which  men 
feel  authorised  and  actually  called  upon  by  the  com- 
mon feelings  of  humanity,  to  tell  "  peace-making 
lies,"  occur  every  day — nay,  every  hour.  Every 
petty  officer  of  government,  "  armed  with  his  little 
brief  authority,"  is  a  little  tyrant  surrounded  by  men 
whose  all  depends  upon  his  will,  and  who  dare  not 
fcell  him  the  truth — the  "point  of  honour"  in  this 
little  circle  demands,  that  every  one  should  be  pre- 
pared to  tell  him  "  peace-making  lies  ;"  and  the  man 
who  does  not  do  so  when  the  occasion  seems  to  call 
for  it,  incurs  the  odium  of  the  whole  circle,  as  one 
maliciously  disposed  to  speak  "  anger-exciting  or 
factious  truths."  Poor  Cromwell  and  Ann  Boleyn 
were  obliged  to  talk  of  love  and  duty  towards  their 


brutal  murderer,  Henry  VIII.,  and  tell  "peace- 
making lies"  on  the  scaffold  to  save  their  poor  chil- 
dren from  his  resentment !  European  gentlemen  in 
India  often,  by  their  violence,  surround  themselves 
with  circles  of  the  same  kind,  in  which  the  "  point  of 
honour"  demands,  that  every  member  shall  be  pre- 
pared to  tell  "peace-making  lies,"  to  save  the  others 
from  the  effects  of  their  master's  ungovernable  pas- 
sions— falsehood  is  their  only  safeguard ;  and,  con- 
sequently, falsehood  ceases  to  be  odious.  Counte- 
nanced in  the  circles  of  the  violent,  falsehood  soon 
becomes  countenanced  in  those  of  the  mild  and  for- 
bearing ;  their  domestics  pretend  a  dread  of  their 
anger  which  they  really  do  not  feel ;  and  they  gain 
credit  for  having  the  same  good  excuse  among  those 
who  have  no  opportunity  of  becoming  acquainted 
with  the  real  character  of  the  gentlemen  in  their 
domestic  relations — all  are  thought  to  be  more  or  less 
tigerish  in  these  relations,  particularly  before  breakfast^ 
because  some  are  known  to  be  so. 

I  have  known  the  native  officers  of  a  judge  who 
was  really  a  very  mild  and  worthy  man,  but  who 
lived  a  very  secluded  life,  plead  as  their  excuse  for 
all  manner  of  bribery  and  corruption,  that  their 
persons  and  character  were  never  safe  from  his  vio- 
lence ;  and  urge  that  men  whose  tenure  of  office  was 
ao  very  insecure,  and  who  were  every  hour  in  the  day 
exposed  to  so  much  indignity,  could  not  possibly  be 
blamed  for  making  the  most  of  their  position.  The 
society  around  believed  all  this,  and  blamed  not  the 


native  officers  but  the  judge,  or  the  government,  who 
placed  them  in  such  a  situation.  Other  judges  and 
magistrates  have  been  known  to  do  what  this  person 
was  merely  reported  to  do,  otherwise  society  would 
neither  have  given  credit  to  his  officers,  nor  have 
held  them  excused  for  their  malpractices.  Those 
European  gentlemen  who  allow  their  passions  to  get 
the  better  of  their  reason  among  their  domestics,  do 
much  to  lower  the  character  of  their  countrymen  in 
the  estimation  of  the  people ;  but  the  high  officials 
who  forget  what  they  owe  to  themselves  and  the 
native  officers  of  their  courts,  when  presiding  on  the 
bench  of  justice,  do  ten  thousand  times  more ;  and, 
I  grieve  to  say,  that  I  have  known  a  few  officials  of 
this  class. 

We  have  in  England  known  many  occasions,  par- 
ticularly in  the  cases  of  prosecutions  by  the  officers 
of  government  for  offences  against  the  state,  where 
little  circles  of  society  have  made  it  a  "  point  of 
honour"  for  some  individuals  to  speak  untruths,  and 
and  others  to  give  verdicts  against  their  consciences  ; 
some  occasions  indeed  where  those  who  ventured  to 
speak  the  truth,  or  to  give  a  verdict  according  to 
their  conscience,  were  in  danger  from  the  violence 
of  popular  resentment.  Have  we  not,  unhappily,  in 
England  and  among  our  countrymen  in  all  parts  of 
the  world,  experience  every  day  of  a  wide  difference 
between  what  is  exacted  from  members  of  particular 
circles  of  society  by  the  "  point  of  honour,"  and  what 
is  held  to  be  strict  religious  truth  by  the  rest  of 

POINT   OF    HONOUR.  135 

society  ?  Do  we  not  see  gentlemen  cheating  their 
tradesmen,  while  they  dare  not  leave  a  gambling 
debt  unpaid  ?  The  "  point  of  honour"  in  the  circle  to 
which  they  belong,  demands  that  the  one  should  be 
paid,  because  the  non-payment  would  involve  a 
breach  of  faith  in  their  relations  with  each  other,  as 
in  the  case  of  the  members  of  a  gang  of  robbers ; 
but  the  non-payment  of  a  tradesman's  bill  involves 
only  a  breach  of  faith  in  a  gentleman's  relations  with 
a  lower  order.  At  least,  some  gentlemen  do  not 
feel  any  apprehension  of  incurring  the  odium  of  the 
circle  in  which  they  move  by  cheating  of  this  kind.  In 
the  same  manner  the  roue,  or  libertine  of  rank,  may 
often  be  guilty  of  all  manner  of  falsehoods  and 
crimes  to  the  females  of  the  class  below  him,  with- 
out any  fear  of  incurring  the  odium  of  either  males 
or  females  of  his  own  circle;  on  the  contrary,  the 
more  crimes  he  commits  of  this  sort,  the  more  some- 
times he  may  expect  to  be  caressed  by  males  and 
females  of  his  own  order.  The  man  who  would 
not  hesitate  a  moment  to  destroy  the  happiness  of  a 
family  by  the  seduction  of  the  wife  or  the  daughter, 
would  not  dare  to  leave  one  shilling  of  a  gambling 
debt  unpaid — the  one  would  bring  down  upon  him 
the  odium  of  his  circle,  but  the  other  would  not ; 
and  the  odium  of  that  circle  is  the  only  kind  of 
odium  he  dreads.  Appius  Claudius  apprehended  no 
odium  from  his  own  order,  the  patrician,  from  the 
violation  of  the  daughter  of  Virginius,  of  the  ple- 
beian order  ;  nor  did  Sextus  Tarquinius,  of  the  royal 


order,  apprehend  any  from  the  violation  of  Lucretia, 
of  the  patrician  order — neither  would  have  been 
punished  by  their  own  order,  but  they  were  both 
punished  by  the  injured  orders  below  them. 

Our  own  penal  code  punished  with  death  the  poor 
man  who  stole  a  little  food  to  save  his  children  from 
starvation,  wiiile  it  left,  to  exult  in  the  caresses  of 
his  own  order,  the  wealthy  libertine,  who  robbed  a 
father  and  mother  of  their  only  daughter,  and  con- 
signed her  to  a  life  of  infamy  and  misery !  the  poor 
victim  of  man's  brutal  passions  and  base  falsehood 
suffered  inevitable  and  exquisite  punishment,  while 
the  laws  and  the  usages  of  society  left  the  man  himself 
untouched !  He  had  nothing  to  apprehend  if  the  father 
of  his  victim  happened  to  be  of  the  lower  order,  or 
a  minister  of  the  Church  of  Christ ;  because  his  own 
order  would  justify  his  refusing  to  meet  the  one  in 
single  combat,  and  the  other  dared  not  invite  him  to 
it ;  and  the  law  left  no  remedy ! 

Take  the  two  parties  in  England  into  which 
society  is  politically  divided.  There  is  hardly  any 
species  of  falsehood  uttered  by  the  members  of  the 
party  out  of  power  against  the  members  of  the 
party  in  power,  that  is  not  tolerated  and  even 
applauded  by  one  party  ;  men  state  deliberately 
what  they  know  to  be  utterly  devoid  of  truth  re- 
garding the  conduct  of  their  opponents ;  they  basely 
ascribe  to  them  motives  by  which  they  know  they 
were  never  actuated,  merely  to  deceive  the  public, 
and  to  promote  the  interest  of  their  party,  without 

PARTY    LYING.  137 

the  slightest  fear  of  incurring  odium  by  so  doing  in 
the  minds  of  any  but  their  political  opponents.  If  a 
foreigner  were  to  judge  of  the  people  of  England 
from  the  tone  of  their  newspapers,  he  would  say, 
that  there  was  assuredly  neither  honour,  honesty,  nor 
truth  to  be  found  among  the  classes  which  furnjshed 
the  nation  with  its  ministers  and  legislators  ;  for  a  set 
of  miscreants  more  atrocious  than  the  Whig  and  Tory 
ministers  and  legislators  of  England  were  repre- 
sented to  be  in  these  papers,  never  disgraced  the 
society  of  any  nation  upon  earth!  Happily  all 
foreigners  who  read  these  journals  know  that  in  what 
the  members  of  one  party  say  of  those  of  the  other, 
or  are  reported  to  say,  there  is  often  but  little  truth ; 
and  that  there  is  still  less  of  truth  in  what  the  editors 
and  correspondents  of  the  ultra  journals  of  one  party 
write  about  the  characters,  conduct,  and  sentiments 
of  the  members  of  the  other. 

There  is  one  species  of  untruth  to  which  we  Eng- 
lish people  are  particularly  prone  in  India,  and  I 
am  assured  everywhere  else.  It  is  this.  Young 
"  miss  in  her  teens,"  as  soon  as  she  finds  her  female 
attendants  in  the  wrong,  no  matter  in  what  way,  ex- 
claims, "  it  is  so  like  the  natives ;"  and  the  idea  of  the 
same  error,  vice,  or  crime,  becomes  so  habitually  asso- 
ciated in  her  mind  with  every  native  she  afterwards 
sees,  that  she  can  no  more  separate  them  than  she  can 
the  idea  of  ghosts  and  hobgoblins  from  darkness  and 
solitude.  The  young  cadet  or  civilian,  as  soon  as  he 
finds   his  valet,   butler,  or  his  groom  in  the  wrong, 


exclaims,  "  It  is  so  like  blacky — so  like  the  niggars  ; 
they  are  all  alike,  and  what  could  you  expect  from 
him  !"  He  has  been  constantly  accustomed  to  the 
same  vicious  association  of  ideas  in  his  native  land — 
if  he  has  been  brought  up  in  a  family  of  Tories,  he  has 
constantly  heard  those  he  most  reverenced  exclaim, 
when  they  have  found,  or  fancied  they  found,  a  Whig 
in  the  wrong,  "  It  is  so  like  the  Whigs— they  are  all 
alike  ;  there  is  no  trusting  any  of  them."  If  a  Protes- 
tant, "  It  is  so  like  the  Catholics  ;  there  is  no  trusting 
them  in  any  relation  of  life."  The  members  of  Whig 
and  Catholic  families  may  say  the  same  perhaps  of 
Tories  and  Protestants.  An  untravelled  Englishman 
will  sometimes  say  the  same  of  a  Frenchman ;  and 
the  idea  of  everything  that  is  bad  in  man  will  be 
associated  in  his  mind  with  the  image  of  a  French- 
man. If  he  hears  of  an  act  of  dishonour  by  a  person 
of  that  nation,  "  It  is  so  like  a  Frenchman — they  are 
all  alike  ;  there  is  no  honour  in  them."  A  Tory  goes 
to  America,  predisposed  to  find  in  all  who  live  under 
republican  governments,  every  species  of  vice  and 
crime ;  and  no  sooner  sees  a  man  or  woman  mis- 
behave, than  he  exclaims,  "  It  is  so  like  the  Ameri- 
cans— they  are  all  alike ;  but  what  could  you  expect 
from  republicans!"  At  home,  when  he  considers 
himself  in  relation  to  the  members  of  the  parties 
opposed  to  him  in  religion  or  politics,  they  are  asso- 
ciated in  his  mind  with  everything  that  is  vicious ; 
abroad,  when  he  considers  the  people  of  other  coun- 
tries in  relation  to  his  own,  if  they  happen  to  be 


Christians,  he  will  find  them  associated  in  his  mind 
with  everything  that  is  good,  or  everything  that  is 
bad,  in  proportion  as  their  institutions  happen  to 
conform  to  those  which  his  party  advocates.  A 
Tory  will  abuse  America  and  Americans,  and  praise 
the  Austrians.  A  Whig  will,  pei^haps,  abuse  the 
Austrians  and  others  who  live  under  paternal  or 
despotic  governments;  and  praise  the  Americans, 
who  live  under  institutions  still  more  free  than  his 

This  has  properly  been  considered  by  Locke  as  a 
species  of  madness  to  which  all  mankind  are  more  or 
less  subject,  and  from  which  hardly  any  individual 
can  entirely  free  himself.  "  There  is,"  he  says, 
scarce  a  man  so  free  from  it,  but  that  if  he  should 
always,  on  all  occasions,  argue  or  do  as  in  some  cases 
he  constantly  does,  would  not  be  thought  fitter  for 
Bedlam  than  civil  conversation.  I  do  not  here 
mean  when  he  is  under  the  power  of  an  unruly  pas- 
sion, but  in  the  steady,  calm  course  of  his  life.  That 
which  thus  captivates  their  reason,  and  leads  men 
of  sincerity  blindfold  from  common  sense,  will,  when 
examined,  be  found  to  be  what  we  are  speaking  of; 
some  independent  ideas,  of  no  alliance  to  one 
another  are,  by  education,  custom,  and  the  constant 
din  of  their  party,  so  coupled  in  their  minds,  that 
they  always  appear  there  together,  and  they  can  no 
more  separate  them  in  their  thoughts,  than  if  they 
were  but  one  idea,  and  they  operate  as  if  they  really 
were  so."     (Book  ii.  chap.  33.) 


Perjury  had  long  since  ceased  to  be  considered 
disgraceful,  or  even  discreditable,  among  the  patrician 
order  in  Rome,  before  the  soldiers  ventured  to  break 
their  oaths  of  allegiance.  Military  service  had,  from 
the  ignorance  and  selfishness  of  this  order,  been  ren- 
dered extremely  odious  to  free-born  Romans ;  and 
they  frequently  mutinied  and  murdered  their  generals, 
though  they  would  not  desert  because  they  had  sworn 
not  to  do  so.  To  break  his  oath  by  deserting  the 
standards  of  Rome,  was  to  incur  the  hatred  and  con- 
tempt of  the  great  mass  of  the  people — the  soldier 
dared  not  hazard  this.  But  patricians  of  senatorial 
and  consular  rank,  did  not  hesitate  to  violate  their 
oaths  whenever  it  promised  any  advantage  to  the 
patrician  order  collectively  or  individually,  because 
it  excited  neither  contempt  nor  indignation  in  that 
order.  "  They  have  been  false  to  their  generals," 
said  Fabius,  "  but  they  have  never  deceived  the 
gods.  I  know  they  can  conquer,  and  they  shall 
swear  to  do  so," — they  swore  and  conquered. 

Instead  of  adopting  measures  to  make  the  duties 
of  a  soldier  less  odious,  the  patricians  turned  their 
hatred  of  these  duties  to  account,  and  at  a  high 
price  sold  an  absolution  from  their  oath.  While  the 
members  of  the  patrician  order  bought  and  sold 
oaths  among  themselves  merely  to  deceive  the  lower 
orders,  they  were  still  respected  among  the  plebeians  ; 
but  when  they  began  to  sell  dispensations  to  the  mem- 
bers of  this  lower  order^  the  latter  also  by  degrees 
ceased  to  feel  any  veneration  for  the  oath,   and  it 


was  no  longer  deemed  disgraceful  to  desert  duties 
which  the  higher  order  made  no  effort  to  render  less 

"  That  they  who  draw  the  breath  of  life  in  a  court, 
and  pass  all  their  days  in  an  atmosphere  of  lies, 
should  have  any  very  sacred  regard   for  truth,   is 
hardly  to  be  expected.     They  experience  such  false- 
hood in  all  who  surround  them,  that  deception,  at 
least  suppression  of  the  truth,  almost  seems  neces- 
sary for  self-defence ;  and  accordingly,  if  their  speech 
be  not  framed  upon  the  theory  of  the  French  cardi- 
nal, that  language  was  given  to  man  for  the  better 
concealment  of  his  thoughts,  they  at  least  seem  to 
regard  in  what  they  say,  not  its  resemblance  to  the 
fact  in  question,   but  rather  its  subserviency  to  the 
purpose  in  view."     (Brougham's  Geo.  4th.)     "  Yet, 
let  it  never  be  forgotten,  that  princes  are  nurtured 
in  falsehood  by  the  atmosphere  of  lies   which  en- 
velopes their  palace;    steeled  against  natural  sym- 
pathies by  the  selfish  natures  of  all  that  surround 
them ;  hardened  in   cruelty,    psirtly   indeed  by  the 
fears  incident  to  their  position,  but  partly  too  by  the 
unfeeling  creatures,  the  factious,  the  unnatural  pro- 
ductions of  a  court  whom  alone   they  deal   with; 
trained  for  tyrants  by  the    prostration  which  they 
find  in  all  the  minds  which  they  come  in  contact 
with ;  encouraged   to    domineer  by  the  unresisting 
medium  through  which  all  their  steps  to  power  and 
its  abuse  are  made."     (Brougham's  Carnot.) 


But  Lord  Brougham  is  too  harsh.  Johnson  has 
observed  truly  enough,  "  Honesty  is  not  necessarily 
greater  where  elegance  is  less ;"  nor  does  a  sense  of 
supreme  or  despotic  power  necessarily  imply  the  ex- 
ercise or  abuse  of  it.  Princes  have,  happily,  the 
same  yearning  as  the  peasant  after  the  respect  and 
affection  of  the  circle  around  them,  and  the  people 
under  them  ;  and  they  must  generally  seek  it  by  the 
same  means. 

I  have  mentioned  the  village  communities  of  India 
as  that  class  of  the  population  among  whom  truth 
prevails  most ;  but  I  believe  there  is  no  class  of  men 
in  the  world  more  strictly  honourable  in  their  deal- 
ings than  the  mercantile  classes  of  India.  Under 
native  governments,  a  merchant's  books  were  ap- 
pealed to  as  "  holy  writ,"  and  the  confidence  in  them 
has  certainly  not  diminished  under  our  rule.  There 
have  been  instances  of  their  being  seized  by  the  ma- 
gistrate, and  subjected  to  the  inspection  of  the  oificers 
of  his  court.  No  officer  of  a  native  government  ven- 
tured to  seize  them ;  the  merchant  was  required  to 
produce  them  as  proof  of  particular  entries;  and 
while  the  officers  of  government  did  no  more,  there 
was  no  danger  of  false  accounts.  An  instance  of 
deliberate  fraud  or  falsehood  among  native  merchants 
of  respectable  stations  in  society,  is  extremely  rare. 
Among  the  many  hundreds  of  bills  I  have  had  to 
take  from  them  for  private  remittances,  I  have  never 
had  one  dishonoured,   or  the  payment  upon  one  de- 


layed  beyond  the  day  specified ;  nor  do  I  recollect 
ever  hearing  of  one  who  had.  They  are  so  careful 
not  to  speculate  beyond  their  means,  that  an  instance 
of  failure  is  extremely  rare  among  them.  No  one 
ever  in  India  hears  of  families  reduced  to  ruin  or 
distress  by  the  failure  of  merchants  and  bankers; 
though  here,  as  in  all  other  countries  advanced  in 
the  arts,  a  vast  number  of  families  subsist  upon  the 
interest  of  money  employed  by  them. 

There  is  no  class  of  men  more  interested  in  the 
stability  of  our  rule  in  India  than  this  of  the  respect- 
able merchants ;  nor  is  there  any  upon  whom  the 
welfare  of  our  government,  and  that  of  the  people, 
more  depend.  Frugal,  first,  upon  principle,  that  they 
may  not  in  their  expenditure  encroach  upon  their 
capitals,  they  become  so  by  habit ;  and  when  they 
advance  in  life  they  lay  out  their  accumulated  wealth 
in  the  formation  of  those  works  which  shall  secure 
for  them,  from  generation  to  generation,  the  bless- 
ings of  the  people  of  the  towns  in  which  they  have 
resided,  and  those  of  the  country  around.  It  would 
not  be  too  much  to  say,  that  one-half  of  the  great 
works  which  embellish  and  enrich  the  face  of  India, 
in  tanks,  groves,  wells,  temples,  &c.,  have  been  formed 
by  this  class  of  the  people  solely  with  the  view  of 
securing  the  blessings  of  mankind  by  contributing  to 
their  happiness  in  solid  and  permanent  works.  "  The 
man  who  has  left  behind  him  great  works  in  temples, 
bridges,  reservoirs,  and  caravansaries  for  the  public 


good,  does  not  die,"  says  Sheikh  Sadee,  the  greatest 
of  eastern  poets,  whose  works  are  more  read  and 
loved  than  those  of  any  other  uninspired  man  that 
has  ever  written,  not  excepting  our  own  beloved 
Shakspeare.*  He  is  as  much  loved  and  admired  by 
Hindoos  as  by  Mahomedans ;  and  from  boyhood  to 
old  age  he  continues  the  idol  of  the  imaginations  of 
both.  The  boy  of  ten,  and  the  old  man  of  seventy, 
alike  delight  to  read  and  quote  him  for  the  music  of 
his  verses,  and  the  beauty  of  his  sentiments,  precepts, 
and  imagery. 

It  was  to  the  class  last  mentioned,  whose  incomes 
are  derived  from  the  profits  of  stock  invested  in  ma- 
nufactures and  commerce,  that  Europe  chiefly  owed 
its  rise  and  progress  after  the  downfall  of  the  Roman 
empire,  and  the  long  night  of  darkness  and  desola- 
tion which  followed  it.  It  was  through  the  means  of 
mercantile  industry,  and  the  municipal  institutions  to 
which  it  gave  rise,  that  the  enlightened  sovereigns 
of  Europe  were  enabled  to  curb  the  licence  of  the 
feudal  aristocracy,  and  to  give  to  life,  property,  and 
character,  that  security  without  whicli  society  could 
not  possibly  advance ;  and  it  was  through  the  same 
means  that  the  people  were  afterwards  enabled  to 
put  those  limits  to  the  authority  of  the  sovereign, 
and  to  secure  to  themselves  that  share  in  the  govern- 
ment without  which  society  could  not  possibly  be 

*  I  ought  to  except  Confucius,  the  great  Chinese  morahst. 


free,  or  well  constituted.  Upon  the  same  founda- 
tion may  we  hope  to  raise  a  superstructure  of  muni- 
cipal corporations  and  institutions  in  India,  such  as 
will  give  security  and  dignity  to  the  society  ;  and  the 
sooner  we  begin  upon  the  work  the  better. 

VOL.    II.  L  1 





On  the  13th  we  came  on  ten  miles  to  Sahur,  over 
a  plain  of  poor  soil,  carelessly  cultivated,  and  with- 
out either  manure  or  irrigation.  Major  Godby 
left  us  at  Goverdhun  to  return  to  Agra.  He  would 
have  gone  on  with  us  to  Delhi ;  but  having  the  com- 
mand of  his  regiment,  and  being  a  zealous  officer,  he 
did  not  like  to  leave  it  so  long  during  the  exercising 
season.  We  felt  much  the  loss  of  his  society.  He  is 
a  man  of  great  observation  and  practical  good  sense : 
has  an  infinite  fund  of  good-humour,  and  a  cheerful- 
ness of  temperament  that  never  seems  to  flag — a 
more  agreeable  companion  I  have  never  met.  The 
villages  in  these  parts  are  literally  crowded  with  pea- 
fowl. I  counted  no  less  than  forty-six  feeding  close 
by  among  the  houses  of  one  hamlet  on  the  road,  all 
wild,  or  rather  unappropriatedy  for  they  seemed  on 


the  best  possible  terms  with  the  inhabitants.  At 
Sahur  our  water  was  drawn  from  wells  eighty  feet 
deep ;  and  this  is  said  to  be  the  ordinary  depth  from 
which  water  is  drawn ;  consequently  irrigation  is  too 
expensive  to  be  common.  It  is  confined  almost  ex- 
clusively to  small  patches  of  garden  cultivation  in 
the  vicinity  of  villages. 

On  the  14th  we  came  on  sixteen  miles  to  Kosee, 
for  the  most  part  over  a  poor  soil  badly  cultivated, 
and  almost  exclusively  devoted  to  autumn  crops,  of 
which  cotton  is  the  principal.  I  lost  the  road  in 
the  morning  before  daylight,  and  the  trooper,  who 
usually  rode  with  me,  had  not  come  up.  I  got  an 
old  landholder  from  one  of  the  villages  to  walk  on 
with  me  a  mile,  and  put  me  in  the  right  road.  I 
asked  him  what  had  been  the  state  of  the  country 
under  the  former  government  of  the  Jats  and  Mah- 
rattas  ;  and  was  told  that  the  greater  part  was  a  wild 
jungle.  "  I  remember,"  said  the  old  man,  "  when 
you  could  not  have  got  out  of  the  road  hereabouts 
without  a  good  deal  of  risk.  I  could  not  have  ven- 
tured a  hundred  yards  from  the  village  without  the 
chance  of  having  my  clothes  stripped  off  my  back. 
Now  the  whole  face  of  the  country  is  under  cultiva- 
tion, and  the  roads  are  safe ;  formerly  the  govern- 
ments kept  no  faith  with  their  landholders  and  cul- 
tivators, exacting  ten  rupees  where  they  had  bar- 
gained for  five,  whenever  they  found  the  crops  good ; 
but  in  spite  of  all  this  zolm,''  (oppression,)  said  the 
old  man,  "  there  was  then  more  burkut  (blessings 

L   2 


from  above)  than  now.  The  lands  yielded  more  re- 
turns to  the  cultivator,  and  he  could  maintain  his 
little  family  better  upon  ^\e  acres  than  he  can  now 
upon  ten." 

"  To  what,  my  old  friend,  do  you  attribute  this 
very  unfavourable  change  in  the  productive  powers 
of  your  soil?" 

"  A  man  cannot,  sir,  venture  to  tell  the  truth  at 
all  times,  and  in  all  places,"  said  he. 

"  You  may  tell  it  now  with  safety,  my  good  old 
friend.  I  am  a  mere  traveller,  (Mosafir,)  going  to 
the  hills  in  search  of  health,  from  the  valley  of  the 
Nerbudda,  where  the  people  have  been  suffering  a 
good  deal  from  blight,  and  are  much  perplexed  in 
their  endeavour  to  find  a  cause." 

"  Here,  sir,  we  all  attribute  these  evils  to  the 
dreadful  system  of  perjury,  which  the  practices  of 
your  judicial  courts  have  brought  among  the  people. 
You  are  perpetually  putting  the  Ganges  water  into 
the  hands  of  the  Hindoos,  and  the  Koran  into  those  of 
the  Mahomedans  ;  and  all  kinds  of  lies  are  every  day 
told  upon  them.  God  Almighty  can  stand  this  no 
longer ;  and  the  lands  have  ceased  to  be  blessed  with 
that  fertility  which  they  had  before  this  sad  practice 
began.  This,  sir,  is  almost  the  only  fault  we  have 
any  of  us  to  find  with  your  government;  men,  by  this 
system  of  perjury,  are  able  to  cheat  each  other  out 
of  their  rights,  and  bring  down  sterility  upon  the 
land,  by  which  the  innocent  are  made  to  suffer  for 
the  guilty." 


On  reaching  our  tents,  I  asked  a  respectable  farmer, 
who  came  to  pay  his  respects  to  the  commissioner  of 
the  division,  Mr.  Fraser,  what  he  thought  of  the 
matter,  telling  him  what  I  had  heard  from  my  old 
friend  on  the  road.  "  The  diminished  fertility  is," 
said  he,  "  owing  no  doubt  to  the  want  of  those  sar 
lutary  fallows  which  the  fields  got  under  former  go- 
vernments, when  invasions  and  civil  wars  were  things 
of  common  occurrence,  and  kept  at  least  two-thirds 
of  the  land  waste ;  but  there  is,  on  the  other  hand, 
no  doubt  that  you  have  encouraged  perjury  a  good 
deal  in  your  courts  of  justice ;  and  this  perjury  must 
have  some  effect  in  depriving  the  land  of  the  bless- 
ings of  God  !  Every  man  now,  who  has  a  cause  in 
your  civil  courts,  seems  to  think  it  necessary  either 
to  swear  falsely  himself,  or  to  get  others  to  do  it  for 
him.  The  European  gentlemen,  no  doubt,  do  all 
they  can  to  secure  every  man  his  right,  but,  sur- 
rounded as  they  are  by  perjured  witnesses,  and  cor- 
rupt native  officers,  they  commonly  labour  in  the 
dark."  Much  of  truth  is  to  be  found  among  the  vil- 
lage communities  of  India,  where  they  have  been 
carefully  maintained,  if  people  will  go  among  them 
to  seek  it.  Here,  as  almost  everywhere  else,  truth 
is  the  result  of  self-government,  whether  arising 
from  choice,  under  municipal  institutions,  or  necessity, 
under  despotism  and  anarchy :  self-government  pro- 
duces self-esteem  and  pride  of  character. 

Close  to  our  tents  we  found  the  people  at  work, 
irrigating  their  wheat-fields  from  several  wells,  whose 


waters  were  all  brackish.  The  crops  watered  from 
these  wells  were  admirable — likely  to  yield  at  least 
fifteen  returns  of  the  seed.  Wherever  we  go  we  find 
signs  of  a  great  government  passed  away — signs  that 
must  tend  to  keep  alive  the  recollections,  and  exalt 
the  ideas  of  it  in  the  minds  of  the  people.  Beyond  the 
boundary  of  our  military  and  civil  stations  we  find  as 
yet  few  indications  of  our  reign  or  our  character,  to 
link  us  with  the  affections  of  the  people.  There  is 
hardly  anything  to  indicate  our  existence  as  a  people 
or  a  government  in  this  country ;  and  it  is  melan- 
choly to  think,  that  in  the  wide  extent  of  country 
over  which  I  have  travelled,  there  should  be  found 
so  few  signs  of  that  superiority  in  science  and  in  arts 
which  we  boast  of,  and  really  do  possess,  and  ought 
to  make  conducive  to  the  welfare  and  happiness  of 
the  people  in  every  part  of  our  dominions.  The 
people  and  the  face  of  the  country  are  just  what 
they  might  have  been  had  they  been  governed  by 
police  officers  and  tax-gatherers  from  the  Sandwich 
Islands,  capable  of  securing  life,  property,  and  cha- 
racter, and  levying  honestly  the  means  of  maintain- 
ing the  establishments  requisite  for  the  purpose. 
Some  time  after  the  journey  herein  described,  in  the 
early  part  of  November,  after  a  heavy  fall  of  rain,  I 
was  driving  alone  in  my  buggy  from  Gurmuktesur 
on  the  Ganges,  to  Meerut.  The  roads  were  very 
bad,  the  stage  a  double  one,  and  my  horse  became 
tired,  and  unable  to  go  on.  I  got  out  at  a  small 
village  to  give  him  a  little  rest  and  food ;    and  sat 

THE    HEADMAN    OF    THE    VILLAGE.  151 

down  under  the  shade  of  one  old  tree  upon  the  trunk 
of  another,  that  the  storm  had  blown  down,  while 
my  groom,  the  only  servant  I  had  with  me,  rubbed 
down  and  baited  my  horse.  I  called  for  some  parched 
gram  from  the  same  shop  which  supplied  my  horse,  and 
got  a  draught  of  good  water,  drawn  from  the  well  by 
an  old  woman,  in  a  brass  jug  lent  to  me  for  the  pur- 
pose by  the  shopkeeper. 

While  I  sat  contentedly  and  happily  stripping  my 
parched  gram  of  its  shell,  and  eating  it  grain  by 
grain,  the  farmer,  or  head  landholder  of  the  village,  a 
sturdy  old  Rajpoot,  came  up  and  sat  himself,  without 
any  ceremony,  down  by  my  side,  to  have  a  little  con- 
versation. To  one  of  the  dignitaries  of  the  land,  in 
whose  presence  the  aristocracy  are  alone  considered 
entitled  to  chairs,  this  easy  familiarity  on  the  part  of 
a  poor  farmer  seems  at  first  somewhat  strange  and 
unaccountable ;  he  is  afraid  that  the  man  intends  to 
offer  him  some  indignity,  or  what  is  still  worse,  mis- 
takes him  for  something  less  than  the  dignitary !  The 
following  dialogue  took  place. 

"  You  are  a  Rajpoot,  and  a  Zemindar  ?"  (land- 

"  Yes ;  I  am  the  head  landholder  of  this  village." 

"  Can  you  tell  me  how  that  village  in  the  distance 
is  elevated  above  the  ground ;  is  it  from  the  debris 
of  old  villages,  or  from  a  rock  underneath?" 

"  It  is  from  the  debris  of  old  villages.  That  is 
the  original  seat  of  all  the  Rajpoots  around ;  we  all 
trace  our  descent  from  the  founders  of  that  village 
who  built  and  peopled  it  many  centuries  ago." 



^  And  you  have  gone  on  subdividing  your  inhe- 
ritances here  as  elsewhere,  no  doubt,  till  you  have 
hardly  any  of  you  anything  to  eat?" 

"  True,  we  have  hardly  any  of  us  enough  to  eat ; 
but  that  is  the  fault  of  the  government,  that  does 
not  leave  us  enough — that  takes  from  us  as  much 
when  the  season  is  bad  as  when  it  is  good !" 

"  But  your  assessment  has  not  been  increased, 
has  it?" 

"  No ;  we  have  concluded  a  settlement  for  twenty 
years  upon  the  same  footing  as  formerly." 

"  And  if  the  sky  were  to  shower  down  upon  you 
pearls  and  diamonds,  instead  of  water,  the  govern- 
ment would  never  demand  more  from  you  than  the 
rate  fixed  upon?" 
"  No." 

"  Then  why  should  you  expect  remissions  in  bad 

"  It  cannot  be  disputed  that  the  burkut  (blessing 
from  above)  is  less  under  you  than  it  used  to  be 
formerly,  and  that  the  lands  yield  less  to  our 

"  True,  my  old  friend,  but  do  you  know  the  reason 
"  No." 

"  Then  I  will  tell  you.  Forty  or  fifty  years  ago, 
in  what  you  call  the  times  of  the  burkut,  (blessing 
from  above,)  the  cavalry  of  Seikh,  freebooters  from 
the  Punjab,  used  to  sweep  over  this  fine  plain,  in 
which  stands  the  said  village  from  which  you  are  all 


descended ;  and  to  massacre  the  whole  population  of 
some  villages,  and  a  certain  portion  of  that  of  every 
other  village ;  and  the  lands  of  those  killed  used 
to  lie  waste  for  want  of  cultivators.  Is  not  this  all 

**  Yes,  quite  true." 

"  And  the  fine  groves  which  had  been  planted  over 
this  plain  by  your  ancestors,  as  they  separated  from 
the  great  parent  stock,  and  formed  independent  vil- 
lages and  hamlets  for  themselves,  were  all  swept 
away  and  destroyed  by  the  same  hordes  of  freebooters, 
from  whom  your  poor  imbecile  emperors,  cooped  up 
in  yonder  large  city  of  Delhi,  were  utterly  unable  to 
defend  you?" 

"  Quite  true,"  said  the  old  man  with  a  sigh.  "  T 
remember  when  all  this  fine  plain  was  as  thickly 
studded  with  fine  groves  of  mango-trees  as  Rohil- 
cund,  or  any  other  part  of  India." 

"  You  know  that  the  land  requires  rest  from 
labour,  as  well  as  men  and  bullocks ;  and  that  if  you 
go  on  sowing  wheat,  and  other  exhausting  crops,  it 
will  go  on  yielding  less  and  less  returns,  and  at  last 
not  be  worth  the  tilling  ?" 

"  Quite  well." 

"  Then  why  do  you  not  give  the  land  rest  by  leav- 
ing it  longer  fallow,  or  by  a  more  frequent  alterna- 
tion of  crops  relieve  it?" 

"  Because  we  have  now  increased  so  much,  that  we 
should  not  get  enough  to  eat  were  we  to  leave  it  to 


fallow ;  and  unless  we  tilled  it  with  exhausting  crops 
we  should  not  get  the  means  of  paying  our  rents  to 

"  The  Seikh  hordes  in  former  days  prevented  this ; 
they  killed  off  a  certain  portion  of  your  families,  and 
gave  the  land  the  rest  which  you  now  refuse  it.  When 
you  had  exhausted  one  part,  you  found  another  re- 
covered by  a  long  fallow,  so  that  you  had  better  re- 
turns ;  but  now  that  we  neither  kill  you,  nor  suffer 
you  to  be  killed  by  others,  you  have  brought  all  the 
cultivable  lands  into  tillage ;  and  under  the  old  sys- 
tem of  cropping  to  exhaustion,  it  is  not  surprising 
that  they  yield  you  less  returns." 

By  this  time  we  had  a  crowd  of  people  seated 
around  us  upon  the  ground,  as  I  went  on  munching 
my  parched  gram,  and  talking  to  the  old  patriarch. 
They  all  laughed  at  the  old  man  at  the  conclu- 
sion of  my  last  speech ;  and  he  confessed  I  was  right. 

"  This  is  all  true,  sir,  but  still  your  government  is 
not  considerate;  it  goes  on  taking  kingdom  after 
kingdom,  and  adding  to  its  dominions  without 
diminishing  the  burthen  upon  us,  its  old  subjects. 
Here  you  have  had  armies  away  taking  Affghan- 
istan,  but  we  shall  not  have  one  rupee  the  less  to 


"  True,  my  friend,  nor  would  you  demand  a  rupee 
less  from  those  honest  cultivators  around  us,  if  we 
were  to  leave  you  all  your  lands  untaxed.  You 
complain    of    the   government — they   complain    of 


you."  (Here  the  circle  around  us  laughed  at  the 
old  man  again.)  "  Nor  would  you  subdivide  the 
lands  the  less  for  having  it  rent  free ;  on  the  con- 
trary, it  would  be  every  generation  subdivided 
the  more,  inasmuch  as  there  would  be  more  of 
local  ties,  and  a  greater  disinclination  on  the  part  of 
the  members  of  families  to  separate,  and  seek  ser- 
vice abroad." 

"  True,  sir,  very  true—  that  is,  no  doubt,  a  very 
great  evil." 

"  And  you  know  it  is  not  an  evil  produced  by  us, 
but  one  arising  out  of  your  own  laws  of  inheritance. 
You  have  heard,  no  doubt,  that  with  us  the  eldest 
son  gets  the  whole  of  the  land,  and  the  younger 
sons  all  go  out  in  search  of  service,  with  such  share 
as  they  can  get  of  the  other  property  of  their 

"  Yes,  sir ;  but  where  shall  we  get  service — you 
have  none  to  give  us.  I  would  serve  to-morrow  if 
you  would  take  me  as  a  soldier,"  said  he,  stroking 
his  white  whiskers. 

The  crowd  laughed  heartily ;  and  some  wag  ob- 
served, "  that  I  should  perhaps  think  him  too  old !" 

"  Well,"  said  the  old  man  smiling,  "  the  gentle- 
man is  not  himself  very  young,  and  yet  I  dare  say  he 
is  a  good  servant  of  his  government." 

This  was  paying  me  off  for  making  the  people 
laugh  at  his  expense.  "  True,  my  old  friend,"  said 
I ;  "  but  I  began  to  serve  when  I  was  young,  and 
have  been  long  learning." 


"  Very  well,"  said  the  old  man ;  "  but  I  should  be 
glad  to  serve  the  rest  of  my  life  upon  a  less  salary 
than  you  got  when  you  began  to  learn." 

"  Well,  my  friend,  you  complain  of  our  govern- 
ment ;  but  you  must  acknowledge  that  we  do  all  we 
can  to  protect  you,  though  it  is  true  that  we  are 
often  acting  in  the  dark  ?" 

"  Often,  sir !  you  are  always  acting  in  the  dark  ; 
you  hardly  any  of  you  know  anything  of  what  your 
revenue  and  police  officers  are  doing ;  there  is  no 
justice  or  redress  to  be  got  without  paying  for  it ; 
and  it  is  not  often  that  those  who  pay  can  get  it." 

"  True,  my  old  friend,  that  is  bad  all  over  the  world. 
You  cannot  presume  to  ask  anything  even  from  the 
Deity  himself,  without  paying  the  priest  who  officiates 
in  his  temples ;  and  if  you  should,  you  would  none  of 
you  hope  to  get  from  your  Deity  what  you  asked  for!" 

Here  the  crowd  laughed  again ;  and  one  of  them 
said,  "  that  there  was  certainly  this  to  be  said  for  our 
government,  that  the  European  gentlemen  them- 
selves never  took  bribes,  whatever  those  under  them 
might  do." 

"  You  must  not  be  too  sure  of  that  neither.  Did 
not  the  Lai  Beebee,  the  red  lady,  get  a  bribe  for  so- 
liciting the  judge,  her  husband,  to  let  go  Ameer 
Sing,  who  had  been  confined  in  jail  ?" 

*'  How  did  this  take  place?" 

"  About  three  years  ago,  Ameer  Sing  was  sen- 
tenced to  imprisonment,  and  his  friends  spent  a  great 
deal  of  money  in  bribes  to  the  native  officers  of  the 

THE   RED    LADY.  157 

court,  but  all  in  vain.  At  last  they  wero  recom- 
mended to  give  a  handsome  present  to  the  red  lady. 
They  did  so,  and  Ameer  Sing  was  released." 

"  But  did  they  give  the  present  in  the  lady's  own 

"  No,  they  gave  it  to  one  of  her  women." 

"  And  how  do  you  know  that  she  ever  gave  it  to 
her  mistress,  or  that  her  mistress  ever  heard  of  the 
transaction  ?" 

"  She  might  certainly  have  been  acting  without 
her  mistress's  knowledge  ;  but  the  popular  belief  is, 
that  the  Lai  Beehee  got  the  present." 

I  then  told  the  story  of  the  affair  at  Jubbulpore, 
when  Mrs.  Smith's  name  had  been  used  for  a  similar 
purpose,  and  the  people  around  us  were  all  highly 
amused ;  and  the  old  man's  opinion  of  the  transac* 
tion  with  the  red  lady  evidently  underwent  a  change.* 
We  became  good  friends,  and  the  old  man  begged 
me  to  have  my  tents,  which  he  supposed  were  coming 
up,  pitched  among  them,  that  he  might  have  an  op- 

*  Some  of  Mr.  Smith's  servants  entered  into  a  combination  to 
defraud  a  suitor  in  his  court  of  a  large  sum  of  money,  which  he 
was  to  pay  to  Mrs.  Smith  as  she  walked  in  the  garden.  A  danc- 
ing girl  from  the  town  of  Jubbulpore  was  made  to  represent  Mrs. 
Smith,  and  a  suit  of  Mrs.  Smith's  clothes  was  borrowed  for  her 
from  the  washerman.  The  butler  took  the  suitor  to  the  garden, 
and  introduced  him  to  the  supposed  Mrs.  Smith,  who  received 
him  very  graciously,  and  condescended  to  accept  his  offer  of  five 
thousand  rupees  in  gold  mohurs.  The  plot  was  afterwards  dis- 
covered, and  the  old  butler,  washerman  and  all,  were  sentenced 
to  labour  in  a  rope  on  the  roads. 


portunity  of  showing  that  he  was  not  a  bad  subject, 
though  he  grumbled  against  the  gOA^ernment. 

The  next  day,  at  Meerut,  I  got  a  visit  from  the 
chief  native  judge,  whose  son,  a  talented  youth,  is  in 
my  office.  Among  other  things,  I  asked  him  whe- 
ther it  might  not  be  possible  to  improve  the  cha- 
racter of  the  police  by  increasing  the  salaries  of  the 
officers,  and  mentioned  my  conversation  with  the 

"  Never,  sir,"  said  the  old  gentleman ;  "  the  man 
that  now  gets  twenty-five  rupees  a  month  is  contented 
with  making  perhaps  fifty  or  seventy-five  more ;  and 
the  people  subject  to  his  authority  pay  him  accord- 
ingly. Give  him  a  hundred,  sir,  and  he  will  put  a 
shawl  over  his  shoulders,  and  the  poor  people  will  be 
obliged  to  pay  him  at  a  rate  that  will  make  up  his 
income  to  four  hundred.  You  will  only  alter  his 
style  of  living,  and  make  him  a  greater  burthen  to 
the  people — he  will  always  take  as  long  as  he  thinks 
he  can  with  impunity." 

"  But  do  you  not  think  that  when  people  see  a 
man  adequately  paid  by  the  government,  they  will 
the  more  readily  complain  of  any  attempt  at  unau- 
thorised exactions  ? " 

"  Not  a  bit,  sir,  as  long  as  they  see  the  same  diffi- 
culties in  the  way  of  prosecuting  him  to  conviction. 
In  the  administration  of  civil  justice  (the  old  gentle- 
man is  a  civil  judge)  you  may  occasionally  see  your 
way,  and  understand  what  is  doing ;  but  in  revenue 
and  police  you  never  have  seen  it  in  India,  and  never 


will,  I  think.     The  officers  you  employ  will  all  add  'j 

to  their  incomes  by  unauthorised  means ;    and  the  i 

lower  these  incomes  the  less  their  pretensions,  and  \ 

the  less  the  populace  have  to  pay."  \ 




KosEE  stands  on  the  borders  of  Ferozepore,  the 
estate  of  the  late  Shumshoodeen,  who  was  hanged  at 
Delhi  on  the  3rd  of  October,  1835,  for  the  murder 
of  William  Fraser,  the  representative  of  the  Governor- 
general  in  the  Delhi  city  and  territories.  The 
Mewaties,  of  Ferozepore,  are  notorious  thieves  and 
robbers.  During  the  Nawab's  time  they  dared  not 
plunder  within  his  territory,  but  had  a  free  licence 
to  plunder  wherever  they  pleased  beyond  it.  They 
will  now  be  able  to  plunder  at  home,  since  our  tri- 
bunals have  been  introduced,  to  worry  prosecutors 
and  their  witnesses  to  death  by  the  distance  they 
have  to  go,  and  the  tediousness  of  our  process ;  and 
thereby  to  secure  impunity  to  offenders,  by  making 
it  the  interest  of  those  who  have  been  robbed,  not 
only  to  bear  with  the  first  loss  without  complaint, 
but  largely  to  bribe  police  officers  to  conceal  the 
crimes  from  their  master,  the  magistrate,  when  they 


happen  to  come  to  their  knowledge !  Here  it  was 
that  Jeswunt  Rao  Holcar  gave  a  grand  ball  on  the 
14th  of  October,  1804,  while  he  was  with  his  cavalry 
covering  the  siege  of  Delhi  by  his  regular  brigade. 
In  the  midst  of  the  festivity  he  had  an  European 
soldier  of  the  king's  seventy-sixth  regiment,  who  had 
been  taken  prisoner,  strangled  behind  the  curtain, 
and  his  head  stuck  upon  a  spear  and  placed  in  the 
midst  of  the  assembly,  where  the  Natch  girls  were 
made  to  dance  round  it !  Lord  Lake  reached  the 
place  the  next  morning  in  pursuit  of  this  monster ; 
and  the  gallant  regiment,  who  here  heard  the  story, 
had  soon  an  opportunity  of  revenging  the  foul  murder 
of  their  comrade  in  the  battle  of  Deeg,  one  of  the 
most  gallant  passages  of  arms  we  have  ever  had 
in  India. 

Near  Kosee  there  is  a  factory  in  ruins  belonging 
to  the  late  firm  of  Mercer  and  Company.  Here  the 
cotton  of  the  district  used  to  be  collected  and  screwed 
under  the  superintendence  of  European  agents,  pre- 
paratory to  its  embarkation  for  Calcutta  on  the  river 
Jumna.  On  the  failure  of  the  firm,  the  establish- 
ment was  broken  up,  and  the  work,  which  was  then 
done  by  one  great  European  merchant,  is  now  done 
by  a  score  or  two  of  native  merchants.  There  is, 
perhaps,  nothing  which  India  wants  more  than  the 
concentration  of  capital ;  and  the  failure  of  all  the 
great  commercial  houses  in  Calcutta,  in  the  year 
1833,  was,  unquestionably,  a  great  calamity.  They 
none  of  them  brought  a  particle  of  capital  into  the 

VOL.    II.  M 


country,  nor  does  India  want  a  particle  from  any 
country ;  but  they  concentrated  it ;  and  had  they  em- 
ployed the  whole,  as  they  certainly  did  a  good  deal 
of  it,  in  judiciously  improving  and  extending  the  in- 
dustry of  the  natives,  they  might  have  been  the 
source  of  incalculable  good  to  India,  its  people,  and 
its  government. 

To  this  concentration  of  capital  in  great  commer- 
cial and  manufacturing  establishments,  which  forms 
the  grand  characteristic  of  European  in  contradistinc- 
tion to  Asiatic  societies  in  the  present  day,  must  we  look 
for  those  changes  which  we  consider  desirable  in  the 
social  and  religious  institutions  of  the  people.  Where 
land  is  liable  to  eternal  subdivision  by  the  law  and  the 
religion  of  both  the  Mahomedan  and  Hindoo  popu- 
lation; where  every  great  work,  that  improves  its 
productive  powers,  and  facilitates  the  distribution  of 
its  produce  among  the  people,  in  canals,  roads, 
bridges,  &c.,  is  made  by  government ;  where  capital 
is  nowhere  concentrated  in  gTeat  commercial  or  ma- 
nufacturing establishments, — there  can  be  no  upper 
classes  in  society  but  those  of  office ;  and  of  all  so- 
cieties, perhaps  that  is  the  worst  in  which  the  higher 
classes  are  so  exclusively  composed.  In  India,  public 
office  has  been,  and  must  continue  to  be,  the  only 
road  to  distinction,  until  we  have  a  law  of  primoge- 
niture, and  a  concentration  of  capital.  In  India  no 
man  has  ever  thought  himself  respectable,  or  been 
thought  so  by  others,  unless  he  is  armed  with  his 
little  Hookoomut ;  his  "  little  brief  authority"  under 


government,  that  gives  him  the  command  of  some 
public  establishment  paid  out  of  the  revenues  of  the 
state.  In  Europe  and  America,  where  capital  has 
been  concentrated  in  great  commercial  and  manu- 
facturing establishments,  and  free  institutions  prevail 
almost  as  the  natural  consequences,  industry  is  every- 
thing ;  and  those  who  direct  and  command  it  are, 
happily,  looked  up  to  as  the  source  of  the  wealth,  the 
strength,  the  virtue,  and  the  happiness  of  the  nation. 
The  concentration  of  capital  in  such  establishments 
may,  indeed,  be  considered,  not  only  as  the  natural 
consequence,  but  as  the  pervading  cause  of  the  free 
institutions  by  which  the  mass  of  the  people  in 
European  countries  are  blessed.  The  mass  of  the 
people  were  as  much  brutalized  and  oppressed  by 
the  landed  aristocracy,  as  they  could  have  been  by 
any  official  aristocracy,  before  towns  and  higher 
classes  were  created  by  the  concentration  of  capital. 

The  same  observations  are  applicable  to  China. 
There  the  land  all  belongs  to  the  sovereign,  as  in 
India;  and,  as  in  India,  it  is  liable  to  the  same 
eternal  subdivision  among  the  sons  of  those  who  hold 
it  under  him.  Capital  is  nowhere  more  concentrated 
in  China  than  in  India ;  and  all  the  great  works  that 
add  to  the  fertility  of  the  soil,  and  facilitate  the  dis- 
tribution of  the  land  labour  of  the  country,  are 
formed  by  the  sovereign  out  of  the  public  revenue. 
The  revenue  is,  in  consequence,  one  of  office ;  and 
no  man  considers  himself  less  respectable,  unless  in- 
vested with  some  office  under  government — that  is, 

M  2 


under  the  Emperor.  Subdivision  of  labour,  concen- 
tration of  capital,  and  machinery,  render  an  English- 
man everywhere  dependent  upon  the  co-operation  of 
multitudes ;  while  the  Chinaman,  who  as  yet  knows 
little  of  either,  is  everywhere  independent,  and  able 
to  work  his  way  among  strangers.  But  this  very 
dependence  of  the  Englishman  upon  the  concentra- 
tion of  capital  is  the  greatest  source  of  his  strength 
and  pledge  of  his  security,  since  it  supports  those 
members  of  the  higher  orders  who  can  best  under- 
stand and  assert  the  rights  and  interests  of  the 

If  we  had  any  great  establishments  of  this  sort  in 
which    Christians  could  find  employment,    and  the 
means  of  religious  and  secular  instruction,  thousands 
of  converts   would  soon   flock  to  them ;  and  they 
would  become  vast  sources  of  future  improvement 
in   industry,    social  comfort,  municipal  institutions, 
and  religion.     What  chiefly  prevents  the  spread  of 
Christianity  in  India  is  the  dread  of  exclusion  from 
caste  and  all  its  privileges  ;  and  the  utter  hopeless- 
ness of  their  ever  finding  any  respectable  circle  of 
society  of  the  adopted  religion,  which   converts,  or 
would  be  converts  to  Christianity,  now  everywhere 
feel.     Form  such  circles  for  them — make  the  mem- 
bers of  these  circles  happy  in  the  exertion  of  honest 
and   independent  industry — let   those  who  rise   to 
eminence  in  them  feel,  that  they  are  considered  as 
respectable  and  as  important  in  the  social  system  as 
the  servants  of  government,  and  converts  will  flock 


around  you  from  all  parts,  and  from  all  classes  of  the 
Hindoo  community.  I  have,  since  I  have  been  in 
India,  had,  I  may  say,  at  least  a  score  of  Hindoo 
grass-cutters  turn  Mussulmans,  merely  because  the 
grooms  and  the  other  grass-cutters  of  my  establish- 
ment happened  to  be  of  that  religion,  and  they  could 
neither  eat,  drink,  nor  smoke  with  them '  Thou- 
sands of  Hindoos,  all  over  India,  become  every  year 
Mussulmans  from  the  same  motive ;  and  we  do  not 
get  the  same  number  of  converts  to  Christianity, 
merely  because  we  cannot  offer  them  the  same  ad- 
vantages. I  am  persuaded  that  a  dozen  such  esta- 
blishments as  that  of  Mr.  Thomas  Ashton,  of  Hyde, 
as  described  by  a  physician  of  Manchester,  and  no- 
ticed in  Mr.  Baines's  admirable  work  on  the  Cotton 
Manufactures  of  Great  Britain,  (page  447,)  would  do 
more  in  the  way  of  conversion  among  the  people  of 
India  than  has  ever  yet  been  done  by  all  the  reli- 
gious establishments,  or  ever  will  be  done  by  them, 
without  some  such  aid. 

I  have  said  that  the  great  commercial  houses  of 
Calcutta,  which  in  their  ruin  involved  that  of  so 
many  useful  establishments  scattered  over  India,  like 
that  of  Kosee,  brought  no  capital  into  the  country. 
They  borrowed  from  one  part  of  the  civil  and  mili- 
tary servants  of  government  at  a  high  interest,  that 
portion  of  their  salary  which  they  saved ;  and  lent  it 
at  a  higher  interest  to  others  of  the  same  establish- 
ment, who  for  a  time  required,  or  wished  to  spend, 
more  than  they  received ;  or  they  emj^loyed  it  at  a 


higher  rate  of  profit  for  great  commercial  and  ma- 
nufacturing establishments  scattered  over  India,  or 
spread  over  the  ocean.     Their  great  error  was  in 
mistaking  nominal  for  real  profits.    Calculating  their 
dividend  on  their  nominal  profits,  and  never  sup- 
posing that  there  could  be  any  such  things  as  losses 
in  commercial  speculation,  or  bad  debts  from  mis- 
fortunes and   bad  faith,    they  squandered  them   in 
lavish  hospitality  and  ostentatious  display,  or  allowed 
their  retiring  members  to  take  them  to  England,  and 
to  every  other  part  of  the  world,  where  their  credi- 
tors might  not  find  them;  till  they  discovered  that  all 
the  real  capital  left  at  their  command  was  hardly 
sufiicient  to  pay  back  with  the  stipulated  interest 
one-tenth  of  what  they  had  borrowed.     The  mem- 
bers of  those  houses  who  remained  in  India  up  to 
the  time  of  the  general  wreck  were  of  course  re- 
duced to  ruin,   and  obliged  to  bear  the  burthen  of 
the  odium  and  indignation  which  the  ruin  of  so  many 
thousands  of   confiding  constituents  brought  down 
upon  them.     Since  that  time,  the  savings  of  civil 
and  military  servants  have  been  invested  either  in 
government    securities,   at  a   small  interest,    or   in 
banks,  which  make  their  profit  in  the  ordinary  way, 
by  discounting   bills  of  exchange,    and  circulating 
their  own  notes  for  the  purpose,  or  by  lending  out 
their  money  at  a  high  interest  of  ten  or  twelve  per 
cent,  to  other  members  of  the  same  services. 

On  the  16th  of  January  we  went  on  to  Horul,  ten 
miles,   over   a   plain,   with    villages   numerous  and 

HORUL.  167 

large ;  and  in  every  one  some  fine  large  building  of 
olden  times.  Surae,  palace,  temple,  or  tomb,  but 
all  going  to  decay.  The  population,  much  more 
dense  than  in  any  of  the  native  states  I  have 
seen ;  villages  larger,  and  more  numerous ;  trade,  in 
the  transit  of  cotton,  salt,  sugar,  and  grain,  much 
brisker.  A  great  number  of  hares  were  here  brought 
to  us  for  sale,  at  threepence  a  piece ;  a  rate  at  which 
they  sell  at  this  season  in  almost  all  parts  of  upper 
India,  where  they  are  very  numerous,  and  very  easily 
caught  in  nets. 




At  Horul  resides  a  collector  of  Customs,  with  two 
or  three  un covenanted  European  assistants,  as  patrol 
officers.  The  rule  now  is  to  tax  only  the  staple 
articles  of  produce  from  the  west  on  their  transit, 
down  into  the  valley  of  the  Jumna  and  Ganges ;  and 
to  have  only  one  line  on  which  these  articles  shall  be 
liable  to  duties.  They  are  free  to  pass  everywhere 
else  without  search  or  molestation.  This  has,  no 
doubt,  relieved  the  people  of  these  provinces  from  an 
infinite  deal  of  loss  and  annoyance  inflicted  upon 
them  by  the  former  system  of  levying  the  Custom 
duties ;  and  that  without  much  diminishing  the  net 
receipts  of  government  from  this  branch  of  its  re- 
venues. But  the  time  may  come  when  government 
will  be  constrained  to  raise  a  greater  portion  of  its 
collective  revenues  than  it  has  hitherto  done  from 
indirect  taxation;  and  when  this  time  comes,  the 
rule  which  confines  the  impost  to  a  single  line,  must 



of  course  be  abandoned.  Under  the  former  system, 
one  great  man,  with  a  very  high  salary,  was  put  in 
to  preside  over  a  host  of  native  agents  with  very 
small  salaries;  and  without  any  responsible  inter- 
mediate agent  whatever  to  aid  him,  and  to  watch 
over  them.  The  great  man  was  selected  without 
any  reference  to  his  knowledge  of,  or  fitness  for,  the 
duties  entrusted  to  him,  merely  because  he  happened 
to  be  of  a  certain  standing  in  a  certain  exclusive 
service,  which  entitled  him  to  a  certain  scale  of 
salary ;  or  because  he  had  been  found  unfit  for  judi- 
cial or  other  duties  requiring  more  intellect  and 
energy  of  character.  The  consequence  was,  that  for 
every  one  rupee  that  went  into  the  public  treasury, 
ten  were  taken  by  these  harpies,  from  the  merchants 
or  other  people  over  whom  they  had,  or  could  pre- 
tend to  have,  a  right  of  search. 

Some  irresponsible  native  officer,  who  happened 
to  have  the  confidence  of  the  great  man,  (no  matter 
in  what  capacity  he  served  him,)  sold  for  his  own 
profit,  and  for  that  of  those  whose  good  will  he  might 
think  it  worth  while  to  conciliate,  the  offices  of  all 
the  subordinate  agents  immediately  employed  in  the 
collection  of  the  duties.  A  man  who  was  to  receive 
an  avowed  salary  of  seven  rupees  a  month,  would 
give  him  three  or  four  thousand  for  his  post ;  be- 
cause it  would  give  him  charge  of  a  detached  post, 
in  which  he  could  soon  repay  himself  with  a  hand- 
some profit.  A  poor  Peon,  who  was  to  serve  under 
others,   and  could  never  hope  for  an  independent 


charge,  would  give  five  hundred  rupees  for  an  office 
which  yielded  him  avowedly  only  four  rupees  a 
month.  All  arrogated  the  right  of  search ;  and  the 
state  of  Indian  society,  and  the  climate,  were  admi- 
rably suited  to  their  purpose.  A  person  of  any  re- 
spectability would  feel  himself  dishonoured,  were  the 
females  of  his  family  to  be  seen,  much  less  touched, 
while  passing  along  the  road  in  their  palanquin  or 
covered  carriage;  and  to  save  himself  from  such  a 
dishonour,  he  was  everywhere  obliged  to  pay  these 
Custom-house  officers.  Many  articles  that  pass  in 
transit  through  India,  would  suffer  much  damage 
from  being  opened  along  the  road  at  any  season,  and 
be  liable  to  be  spoiled  altogether  during  that  of  the 
rains;  and  these  harpies  could  always  make  the 
merchants  open  them,  unless  they  paid  libe- 
rally for  their  forbearance.  Articles  were  rated  to 
the  duty  according  to  their  value ;  and  articles  of 
the  same  weight  were  often,  of  course,  of  very  dif- 
ferent values.  These  officers  could  always  pretend 
that  packages,  liable  to  injury  from  exposures,  con- 
tained within  them,  among  the  articles  set  forth  in 
the  invoice,  others  of  greater  value,  in  proportion  to 
their  weight.  Men  who  carried  pearls,  jewels,  and 
other  articles  very  valuable,  compared  with  their 
bulk,  always  depended  for  their  security  from  robbers 
and  thieves  on  their  concealment ;  and  there  was  no- 
thing which  they  dreaded  so  much  as  the  insolence 
and  rapacity  of  these  Custom  House  officers,  who 
made  them  pay  large  bribes,  or  exposed  their  goods. 


Gangs  of  thieves  had  members  in  disguise  at  such 
stations,  who  were  soon  able  to  discover,  through  the 
insolence  of  the  officers,  and  the  fears  and  entreaties 
of  the  merchants,  whether  they  had  anything  worth 
taking  or  not.  A  party  of  thieves  from  Duteea,  in 
1832,  followed  Lord  William  Bentinck's  camp  to  the 
bank  of  the  river  Jumna,  near  Mutra,  where  they 
found  a  poor  merchant  humbly  entreating  an  inso- 
lent Custom-house  officer  not  to  insist  upon  his 
showing  the  contents  of  the  little  box  he  carried  in 
his  carriage,  lest  it  might  attract  the  attention  of 
thieves,  who  were  always  to  be  found  among  the  fol- 
lowers of  such  a  camp,  and  offering  to  give  him  any- 
thing reasonable  for  his  forbearance.  Nothing  he 
could  be  got  to  offer  would  satisfy  the  rapacity  of  the 
man ;  the  box  was  taken  out  and  opened.  It  con- 
tained jewels,  which  the  poor  man  hoped  to  sell  to 
advantage  among  the  European  ladies  and  gentle- 
men of  the  Governor-general's  suite.  He  replaced 
his  box  in  his  carriage ;  but  in  half  an  hour  it  was 
travelling  post-haste  to  Duteea,  by  relays  of  thieves 
which  had  been  posted  along  the  road  for  such  occa- 
sions. They  quarrelled  about  the  division;  swords 
were  drawn,  and  wounds  inflicted.  One  of  the  gang 
ran  off  to  the  magistrate  at  Saugor,  with  whom  he 
had  before  been  acquainted ;  and  he  sent  him  back 
with  a  small  party,  and  a  letter  to  the  Duteea  Rajah, 
requesting  that  he  would  get  the  box  of  jewels  for 
the  poor  merchant.  The  party  took  the  precaution 
of  searching  the  house  of  the  thieves  before  they 


delivered  the  letter  to  their  friend  the  minister,  and 
by  this  means  recovered  above  half  the  jewels,  which 
amounted  in  all  to  about  seven  thousand  rupees. 
The  merchant  was  agreeably  surprised  when  he  got 
back  so  much  of  his  property  through  the  magistrate 
of  Mutra,  and  confirmed  the  statement  of  the 
thief  regarding  the  dispute  with  the  Custom-house 
officer,  which  enabled  them  to  discover  the  value  of 
the  box. 

Should  government  by-and-by  extend  the  system 
that  obtains  in  this  single  line,  to  the  Customs  all 
over  India,  they  may  greatly  augment  their  revenue 
without  any  injury,  and  with  but  little  necessary  loss 
and  inconvenience  to  merchants.  The  object  of  all 
just  taxation  is,  to  make  the  subjects  contribute 
to  the  public  burthen,  in  proportion  to  their  means, 
and  with  as  little  loss  and  inconvenience  to  them- 
selves as  possible.  The  people  who  reside  west  of 
this  line,  enjoy  all  their  salt,  their  cotton,  and  other 
articles  which  are  taxed  on  crossing  the  line,  without 
the  payment  of  any  duties ;  while  those  to  the  east 
of  it  are  obliged  to  pay.  It  is,  therefore,  not  a 
just  line.  The  advantages  are — 1st,  that  it  inter- 
poses a  body  of  most  efficient  officers  between  the 
mass  of  harpies  and  the  heads  of  the  department, 
who  now  virtually  superintend  the  whole  system, 
whereas,  they  used  formerly  to  do  so  merely  osten- 
sibly. They  are  at  once  the  tapis  of  Prince  Hosain, 
and  the  telescope  of  Prince  Ali :  they  enable  the 
heads   of  departments   to  be   everywhere,  and  see 

THE    COOK    AND    BUTLER.  173 

everything,  whereas  before  they  were  nowhere  and 
saw  nothing.*  Secondly,  it  makes  the  great  staple 
articles  of  general  consumption  alone  liable  to  the 
payment  of  duties ;  and  thereby  does  away,  in  a  great 
measure,  with  the  odious  right  of  search. 

At  Kosee  our  friend,  Charles  Fraser,  left  us  to 
proceed  through  Mutra  to  Agra ;  he  is  a  very 
worthy  man,  and  excellent  public  officer — one  of 
those  whom  one  always  meets  again  with  pleasure, 
and  of  whose  society  one  never  tires.  Mr.  Wilmot, 
the  collector  of  Customs,  and  Mr.  Wright,  one  of 
the  patrol  officers,  came  to  dine  with  us.  The  wind 
blew  so  hard  all  day,  that  the  cook  and  khansamah 
(butler)  were  long  in  despair  of  being  able  to  give  us 
any  dinner  at  all.  At  last  we  managed  to  get  a  tent, 
closed  at  every  crevice  to  keep  out  the  dust,  for  a 
cook-room ;  and  they  were  thus  able  to  preserve 
their  master's  credit,  which,  no  doubt,  according  to 
their  notions,  depended  altogether  on  the  quality 
of  his  dinner. 

*  The  same  observations,  mutatis  mutandis^  are  applicable  to 
the  magistracy  of  the  country ;  and  the  remedy  for  all  the  great 
existing  evils  must  be  sought  in  the  same  means,  the  interposi- 
tion of  a  body  of  efficient  officers  between  the  magistrate  and  the 
Thanadars,  or  present  head  police  officers  of  small  divisions. 



MENT  WANT     OF     TREES     IN     UPPER     INDIA — CAUSE     AND 


What  strikes  one  most  after  crossing  the  Chum- 
bul  is,  I  think,  the  improved  size  and  bearing  of  the 
men  t  they  are  much  stouter,  and  more  bold  and 
manly,  without  being  at  all  less  respectful.  They 
are  certainly  a  noble  peasantry,  full  of  courage,  spirit, 
and  intelligence ;  and  heartily  do  I  wish  that  we 
could  adopt  any  system  that  would  give  our  govern- 
ment a  deep  root  in  their  affections,  or  link  their 
interest  inseparably  with  its  prosperity ;  for  with  all 
its  defects,  life,  property,  and  character  are  certainly 
more  secure,  and  all  their  advantages  more  freely 
enjoyed  under  our  government  than  under  any  other 
they  have  ever  heard  of,  or  that  exists  at  present  in 
any  other  part  of  the  country.  The  external  sub- 
division of  the  landed  property  reduces  them  too 
much  to  one  common  level;  and  prevents  the  for- 


mation  of  that  middle  class  which  is  the  basis  of  all 
that  is  great  and  good  in  European  societies — the 
great  vivifying  spirit  which  animates  all  that  is  good 
above  it  in  the  community.  It  is  a  singular  fact, 
that  the  peasantry,  and,  I  may  say,  the  landed  in- 
terest of  the  country  generally,  have  never  been  the 
friends  of  any  existing  government — have  never  con- 
sidered their  interests  and  that  of  their  government 
the  same ;  and,  consequently,  have  never  felt  any 
desire  for  its  success  or  its  duration. 

The  towns  and  villages  all  stand  upon  high  mounds 
formed  of  the  debris  of  former  towns  and  villages, 
that  have  been  accumulating  most  of  them  for  thou- 
sand of  years.  They  are  for  the  most  part  mere  col- 
lections of  wretched  hovels  built  of  frail  materials, 
and  destined  only  for  a  brief  period. 

"  Man  wants  but  little  here  below. 
Nor  wants  that  little  long  ;" 

And  certainly  there  is  no  climate  in  the  world  where 
man  wants  less  than  in  this  of  India  generally,  and 
upper  India  particularly.  A  peasant  lives  in  the 
open  air ;  and  a  house  to  him  is  merely  a  thing  to  eat 
and  sleep  in,  and  to  give  him  shelter  in  the  storm, 
which  comes  upon  him  but  seldom,  and  never  in  a 
pitiless  shape.  The  society  of  his  friends  he  enjoys  in 
the  open  air ;  and  he  never  furnishes  his  house  for 
their  reception  or  for  display.  The  peasantry  of 
India,  in  consequence  of  living  and  talking  so  much 
in  the  open  air,    have  all  stentorian  voices,  which 


they  find  it  exceedingly  difficult  to  modulate  to  our 
taste  when  they  come  into  our  rooms. 

Another  thing-  in  this  part  of  India  strikes  a  travel- 
ler from  other  parts, — the  want  of  groves  of  fruit  trees 
around  the  villages,  and  along  the  roads.  In  every 
other  part  of  India  he  can  at  every  stage  have  his 
tents  pitched  in  a  grove  of  mango  trees,  that  defend 
his  followers  from  the  direct  rays  of  the  sun  in  the 
daytime,  and  from  the  cold  dews  at  night ;  but  in 
the  district  above  Agra,  he  may  go  for  ten  marches 
without  getting  the  shelter  of  a  grove  in  one.  The 
Seikhs,  the  Mahrattas,  the  Jats,  and  the  Pathans, 
destroyed  them  all  during  the  disorders  attending 
the  decline  of  the  Mahomedan  empire ;  and  they 
have  never  been  renewed,  because  no  man  could 
feel  secure  that  they  would  be  suffered  to  stand  ten 
years.  A  Hindoo  believes  that  his  soul  in  the  next 
world  is  benefited  by  the  blessings  and  grateful  feel- 
ings of  those  of  his  fellow  creatures,  who,  unmolested, 
eat  the  fruit  and  enjoy  the  shade  of  the  trees  he  has 
planted  during  his  sojourn  in  this  world  ;  and  unless 
he  can  feel  assured,  that  the  traveller  and  the  public 
in  general  will  be  permitted  to  do  so,  he  can  have 
no  hope  of  any  permanent  benefit  from  his  good 
work.  It  might  as  well  be  cut  down,  as  pass  into 
the  hands  of  another  person,  who  had  no  feeling  of 
interest  in  the  eternal  repose  of  the  soul  of  the  planter. 
That  person  would  himself  have  no  advantage  in  the 
next  world  from  giving  the  fruit  and  the  shade  of 
the  trees  to  the  public,  since  the  prayers  of  those 


who  enjoyed  them  would  be  offered  for  the  soul  of 
the  planter,  and  not  for  his — he,  therefore,  takes  all 
their  advantage  to  himself  in  this  world,  and  the 
planter  and  the  public  are  defrauded.     Our  govern- 
ment thought  they  had  done  enough  to  encourage 
the  renewal  of  these  groves  when,  by  a  regulation, 
they  gave  to  the  present  lessees  of  villages  the  privi- 
leges  of  planting   them  themselves,   or  permitting 
others  to  plant  them;  but   where  they  held  their 
leases  for  a  term  of  only  five  years,  of  course  they 
would   be   unwilling  to   plant  them.     They  might 
lose   their  lease  when  the  time  expired,  or  forfeit  it 
before ;  and  the  successor  would  have  the  land  on 
which  the  trees  stood,  and  would  be  able  to  exclude 
the  public,  if  not  the  proprietor,  from  the  enjoyment 
of  any  of  their  advantages.     Our  government  has, 
in  effect,  during  the  thirty-five  years  that  it  has  held 
the  dominion  of  the  north-western  provinces,  pro- 
hibited the  planting  of  mango  groves,  while  the  old 
ones  are  every  year  disappearing.     In  the  resump- 
tion of  rent-free  lands,  even  the  ground  on  which 
the  finest  of  these  groves  stand,  has  been  recklessly 
resumed ;  and  the  proprietors  told,  that  they  may 
keep  the  trees  they  have,  but  cannot  be  allowed  to 
renew  them,  as  the  lands  are  become  the  property 
of  government.     The  lands  of  groves  that  have  been 
the  pride  of  families  for  a  century  and  a  half  have  been 
thus   resumed.     Government   is   not  aware  of  the 
irreparable  mischief  they  do  the  country  they  govern 
by  such  measures. 

VOL.    II.  N 


On  my  way  back  from  Meerut,  after  the 
conversation  already  related  with  the  farmer  of 
the  small  village,  my  tents  were  one  day  pitched, 
in  the  month  of  December,  amidst  some  very  fine 
garden  cultivation  in  the  district  of  Alagurh  ;  and  in 
the  evening  I  walked  out  as  usual  to  have  some  talk 
with  the  peasantry.  I  came  to  a  neighbouring  well, 
at  which  four  pair  of  bullocks  were  employed  water- 
ing the  surrounding  fields  of  wheat  for  the  market, 
and  vegetables  for  the  families  of  the  cultivators. 
Four  men  were  employed  at  the  well,  and  two  more 
in  guiding  the  water  to  the  little  embanked  squares 
into  which  they  divide  their  fields. 

I  soon  discovered  that  the  most  intelligent  of  the 
four  was  by  caste  a  Jat ;  and  I  had  a  good  deal  of 
conversation  with  him  as  he  stood  landing  the  leather 
buckets,  as  the  two  pair  of  bullocks  on  his  side  of 
the  well  drew  them  to  the  top,  a  distance  of  forty 
cubits  from  the  surface  of  the  water  beneath. 

"Who  built  this  well?"  I  began. 

"  It  was  built  by  one  of  my  ancestors,  six  gene- 
rations ago." 

"  How  much  longer  will  it  last  ?" 

"  Ten  generations  more,  I  hope ;  for  it  is  now  just 
as  good  as  when  first  made.  It  is  of  puckha  bricks, 
without  mortar  cement." 

"  How  many  waterings  do  you  give  ?" 

"  If  there  should  be  no  rain,  we  shall  require  to 
give  the  land  six  waterings,  as  the  water  is  sweet ; 
had  it  been  brackish  four  would  do.     Brackish  water 

THE    WELL.  179 

is  better  for  wheat  than  sweet  water ;  but  it  is  not  so 
good  for  vegetables,  or  sugar-cane." 

"  How  many  beegas  are  watered  from  this  well  ?" 

"  We  water  twenty  beegas,  or  one  hundred  and 
five  jureebs,  from  this  well." 

"  And  you  pay  the  government  how  much  ?" 

"  One  hundred  rupees,  at  the  rate  of  five  rupees 
the  beega.  But  only  the  five  immediately  around 
the  well  are  mine ;  the  rest  belong  to  others." 

"  But  the  well  belongs  to  you  ;  and  I  suppose  you 
get  from  the  proprietors  of  the  other  fifteen,  some- 
thing for  your  water  ?" 

"  Nothing.  There  is  more  water  than  I  want  for 
my  five  beegas,  and  I  give  them  what  they  require 
gratis ;  they  acknowledge  that  it  is  a  gift  from  me, 
and  that  is  all  I  want." 

"  And  what  does  the  land  beyond  the  range  of 
your  water  of  the  same  quality  pay?" 

"  It  pays  at  the  rate  of  two  rupees  the  beega ; 
and  it  is  with  difficulty  that  they  can  be  made  to  pay 
that.  Water,  sir,  is  a  great  thing,  and  with  that  and 
manure  we  get  good  crops  from  the  land." 

"  How  many  returns  of  the  seed  ?" 

"  From  these  twenty  beegas  with  six  waterings, 
and  cross  ploughing,  and  good  manure,  we  contrive 
to  get  twenty  returns  ;  that  is,  if  God  is  pleased  with 
us,  and  blesses  our  efforts." 

"  And  you  maintain  your  family  comfortably  out 
of  the  return  from  your  five  ?" 

"  If  they  were  mine  I  could ;  but  we  had  two  or 

N   2 


three  bad  seasons  seven  years  ago,  and  I  was  obliged 
to  borrow  eighty  rupees  from  our  banker  at  twenty- 
four  per  cent,  for  the  subsistence  of  my  family.  I 
have  hardly  been  able  to  pay  him  the  interest  with 
all  I  can  earn  by  my  labour,  and  I  now  serve  him 
upon  two  rupees  a  month." 

"  But  that  is  not  enough  to  maintain  you  and  your 

"  No  ;  but  he  only  requires  my  services  for  half  the 
day,  and  during  the  other  half  I  work  with  others  to 
get  enough  for  them." 

"And  when  do  you  expect  to  pay  off  your  debt?" 

"  God  only  knows :  if  I  exert  myself,  and  keep  a 
good  neeut,  (pure  mind  or  intentions,)  he  will  enable 
me  or  my  children  to  do  so  some  day  or  other.  In  the 
mean  time,  he  has  my  five  beegas  of  land  in  mort- 
gage ;  and  I  serve  him  in  the  cultivation." 

"  But  under  those  misfortunes,  you  could  surely 
venture  to  demand  something  from  the  proprietors 
of  the  other  fifteen  beegas  for  the  water  of  your 

"  Never  sir :  it  would  be  said  all  over  the  country, 
that  such  an  one  sold  God's  water  for  his  neighbour's 
fields,  and  I  should  be  ashamed  to  show  my  face ! 
Though  poor,  and  obliged  to  work  hard,  and  serve 
others,  I  have  still  too  much  pride  for  that." 

"  How  many  bullocks  are  required  for  the  tillage 
of  these  twenty  beegas  watered  from  your  well  ?" 

"  These  eight  bullocks  do  all  the  work  ;  they  are 
dear  now.     This  was  purchased  the  other  day  on  the 

THE    WELL.  181 

death  of  the  old  one,  for  twenty-six  rupees.  They 
cost  about  fifty  rupees  a  pair — the  late  famine  has 
made  them  dear." 

"  What  did  the  well  cost  in  making  ?" 

"  I  have  heard  that  it  cost  about  one  hundred 

and  twenty  rupees ;  it  would  cost  about  that  sum  to 

make  one  of  this  kind  in  the  present  day,  not  more." 

"  How  long  have  the  families  of  your  caste  been 

settled  in  these  parts  ?" 

"  About  six  or  seven  generations — the  country 
had  before  been  occupied  by  a  peasantry  of  the  Kolar 
caste.  Our  ancestors  came,  built  up  mud  fortifica- 
tions, dug  wells,  and  brought  the  country  into  culti- 
vation ;  it  had  been  reduced  to  a  waste :  for  a  long 
time  we  were  obliged  to  follow  the  plough  with  our 
swords  by  our  sides,  and  our  friends  around  us  with 
their  matchlocks  in  their  hand,  and  their  matches 

"  Did  the  water  in  your  well  fail  during  the  late 
seasons  of  drought  ?" 

"  No,  sir ;  the  water  of  this  well  never  fails." 
**  Then  how  did  bad  seasons  affect  you  ?" 
"  My  bullocks  all  died  one  after  the  other  from 
want  of  fodder,  and  I  had  not  the  means  to  till  my 
lands;  subsistence  became  dear;  and  to  maintain 
my  family,  I  was  obliged  to  contract  the  debt  for 
which  my  lands  are  now  mortgaged.  I  work  hard 
to  get  them  back ;  and  if  I  do  not  succeed  my  chil- 
dren will,  I  hope,  with  the  blessing  of  God." 

The  next  morning  I  went  on  to  Kaka,  fifteen 


miles ;  and  finding  my  tents,  people,  and  cattle  with- 
out a  tree  to  shelter  them,  I  was  much  pleased  to 
see  in  my  neighbourhood,  a  plantation  of  mango  and 
other  fruit  trees.  It  had,  I  was  told,  been  planted 
only  three  years  ago  by  Heeramun  and  Moteeram, 
two  bankers  of  the  place,  and  I  sent  for  them,  know- 
ing that  they  w^ould  be  pleased  to  have  their  good 
work  noticed  by  any  European  gentleman.  The 
trees  are  now  covered  with  cones  of  thatch  to  shelter 
them  from  the  frost.  The  merchants  came,  evi- 
dently much  pleased,  and  I  had  a  good  deal  of  talk 
with  them. 

"  Who  planted  this  new  grove  ?" 
"We  planted  it  three  years  ago." 
"What  did  your  well  cost  you,  and  how  many 
trees  have  you  ?" 

"  We  have  about  four  hundred  trees,  and  the  well 
has  cost  us  two  hundred  rupees,  and  will  cost  us 
two  hundred  more." 

"  How  long  will  you  require  to  water  them  ?" 
"  We  shall  require  to  water  the  mango  and  other 
large  trees  ten  or  twelve  years;   but  the   orange, 
pomegranate,  and  other  small  trees  will  always  re- 
quire watering." 

"  What  quantity  of  ground  do  the  trees  occupy  ?" 
"  They  occupy  twenty-two  beegas  of  one  hundred 
and  five  jureebs.    We  place  them  all  twelve  yards 
from  each  other — that  is,  the  large  trees ;  and  the 
small  ones  we  plant  between  them." 
"  How  did  you  get  the  land  ?" 

THE   GROVE.  183 

"  We  were  many  years  trying  in  vain  to  get  a 
grant  from  the  government  through  the  collector ; 
at  last  we  got  him  to  certify  on  paper,  that  if  the 
landholder  would  give  us  land  to  plant  our  grove 
upon,  the  government  would  have  no  objection. 
We  induced  the  landholder,  who  is  a  constituent  of 
ours,  to  grant  us  the  land ;  and  we  made  our  well 
and  planted  our  trees." 

"  You  have  done  a  good  thing ;  what  reward  do 
you  expect  ?" 

"  We  hope  that  those  who  may  enjoy  the  shade, 
the  water,  and  the  fruit,  will  think  kindly  of  us  when 
we  are  gone.  The  names  of  the  great  men  who 
built  the  castles,  palaces,  and  tombs  at  Delhi  and 
Agra  have  been  almost  all  forgotten,  because  no  one 
enjoys  any  advantage  from  them ;  but  the  names  of 
those  who  planted  the  few  mango  groves  we  see  are 
still  remembered  and  blessed  by  all  who  eat  of 
their  fruit,  sit  in  their  shade,  and  drink  of  their 
water,  from  whatever  part  of  the  world  they  come. 
Even  the  European  gentlemen  remember  their  names 
with  kindness ;  indeed,  it  was  at  the  suggestion  of  an 
European  gentleman,  who  was  passing  this  place 
many  years  ago,  and  talking  with  us  as  you  are 
now,  that  we  commenced  this  grove.  'Look  over 
this  plain,'  said  he  ;  'it  has  been  all  denuded  of  the 
fine  groves  with  which  it  was,  no  doubt,  once  stud- 
ded ;  though  it  is  tolerably  well  cultivated,  the  travel- 
ler finds  no  shelter  in  it  from  the  noonday  sun — 
even  the  birds  seem  to  have  deserted  you,  because 


you  refuse  them  the  habitations  they  find  in  other 
parts  of  India.'  We  told  him  that  we  would  have 
the  grove  planted,  and  we  have  done  so ;  and  we 
hope  God  will  bless  our  undertaking." 

"  The  difficulty  of  getting  land  is,  I  suppose,  the 
reason  why  more  groves  are  not  planted,  now  that 
property  is  secure  ?" 

"  How  could  men  plant  without  feeling  secure  of  the 
land  they  planted  upon,  and  when  government  would 
not  guarantee  it  ?  The  landholder  could  guarantee 
it  only  during  the  five  years  of  lease ;  and  if  at  the 
end  of  that  time  government  should  transfer  the  lease 
of  the  estate  to  another,  the  land  of  the  grove  would 
be  transferred  with  it.  We  plant  not  for  worldly  or 
immediate  profits,  but  for  the  benefit  of  our  souls  in 
the  next  world — for  the  prayers  of  those  who  may 
derive  benefit  from  our  works  when  we  are  gone. 
Our  landholders  are  good  men,  and  will  never  resume 
the  lands  they  have  given  us ;  and  if  the  lands  be 
sold  at  auction  by  government,  or  transferred  to 
others,  we  hope  the  certificate  of  the  collector  will 
protect  us  from  his  grasp." 

"  You  like  your  present  government,  do  you  not  ?" 

"  We  like  it  much.  There  has  never  been  a 
government  that  gave  so  much  security  to  life  and 
property :  all  we  want  is  a  little  more  of  public 
service,  and  a  little  more  of  trade ;  but  we  have  no 
cause  to  complain ;  it  is  our  own  fault  if  we  are  not 

"  But  I  have  been  told  that  the  people  find  the 

BENEFIT    OF    CLERGY.  185 

returns  from  the  soil  diminishing,  and  attribute  it  to 
the  perjury  that  takes  place  in  our  courts  occasi- 

"  That,  sir,  is  no  doubt  true :  there  has  been  a 
manifest  falling  off  in  the  returns  ;  and  people  every- 
where think  that  you  make  too  much  use  of  the 
Koran  and  the  Ganges  water  in  your  courts.  God 
does  not  like  to  hear  lies  told  upon  one  or  other,  and 
we  are  apt  to  think  that  we  are  all  punished  for  the 
sins  of  those  who  tell  them.  May  we  ask,  sir,  what 
office  you  hold  ?" 

"  It  is  my  office  to  do  the  work  which  God  assigns 
to  me  in  this  world." 

"  The  work  of  God,  sir,  is  the  greatest  of  all 
works ;  and  those  are  fortunate  who  are  chosen  to 
do  it !" 

Their  respect  for  me  evidently  increased  when 
they  took  me  for  a  clergyman.  I  was  dressed  in 

"  In  the  first  place  it  is  my  duty  to  tell  you,  that 
God  does  not  punish  the  innocent  for  the  guilty ;  and 
that  the  perjury  in  courts  has  nothing  to  do  with 
the  diminution  of  returns  from  the  soil.  Where  you 
apply  water  and  manure,  and  alternate  your  crops, 
you  always  get  good  returns,  do  you  not?" 

"  Very  good  returns ;  but  we  have  had  several  bad 
seasons,  that  have  carried  away  the  greater  part  of 
our  population ;  but  a  small  portion  of  our  lands  can 
be  irrigated  for  want  of  wells,  and  we  had  no  rain 
for  two  or  three  years,  or  hardly  any  in  due  season ; 


and  it  was  this  deficiency  of  rain  which  the  people 
thought  a  chastisement  from  heaven." 

"  But  the  wells  were  not  dried  up,  were  they  ?" 


"And  the  people  whose  fields  they  watered  had 
good  returns,  and  high  prices  for  produce  ?" 

"  Yes,  they  had ;  but  their  cattle  died  for  want  of 
food,  for  there  was  no  grass  anywhere  to  be  found." 

"  Still  they  were  better  off  than  those  who  had  no 
wells  to  draw  water  from,  for  their  fields ;  and  the 
only  way  to  provide  against  such  evils  in  future  is,  to 
have  a  well  for  every  field.  God  has  given  you  the 
fields,  and  he  has  given  you  the  water ;  and  when  it 
does  not  come  from  the  clouds  you  must  draw  it 
from  your  wells." 

"  True,  sir,  very  true ;  but  the  people  are  very 
poor,  and  have  not  the  means  to  form  the  wells  they 

"  And  if  they  borrow  the  money  from  you,  you 
charge  them  what  interest  ?" 

"  From  one  to  two  per  cent,  a  month  according  to 
their  character  and  circumstances ;  but  interest  is 
very  often  merely  nominal,  and  we  are  in  most  cases 
glad  to  get  back  the  principal  alone." 

"  And  what  security  have  you  for  the  land  of  your 
grove  in  case  the  landholder  should  change  his  mind  ; 
or  die  and  leave  sons  not  so  well  disposed  ?" 

"  In  the  first  place,  we  hold  his  bonds  for  a  debt  of 
nine  thousand  rupees  which  he  owes  us,  and  which 
we  have  no  hopes  of  his  ever  paying.     In  the  next, 

THE   DEED    OF    GIFT.  187 

we  have  on  stamped  paper  his  deed  of  gift,  in  which 
he  declares,  that  he  has  given  us  the  land ;  and  that 
he  and  his  heirs  for  ever  shall  be  bound  to  make 
good  the  rents,  should  government  sell  the  estate  for 
arrears  of  revenue.  We  wanted  him  to  write  this 
document  in  the  regular  form  of  a  deed  of  sale  ;  but 
he  said  that  none  of  his  ancestors  had  ever  yet  sold 
their  lands,  and  he  would  not  be  the  first  to  disgrace 
his  family,  or  record  their  disgrace  on  stamped  paper 
— it  should,  he  was  resolved,  be  a  deed  of  gift !" 

"  But  of  course  you  prevailed  upon  him  to  take 
the  price  ?" 

"  Yes.  We  prevailed  upon  him  to  take  two  hun- 
dred rupees  for  the  land,  and  got  his  receipt  for  the 
same ;  indeed,  it  is  so  mentioned  in  the  deed  of  gift ; 
but  still  the  landlord,  who  is  a  near  relation  of  the 
late  chief  of  Hutras,  would  persist  in  having  the 
paper  made  out  as  a  deed  not  of  sale  but  of  gift. 
God  knows  whether,  after  all,  our  grove  will  be 
secure — we  must  run  the  risk  now^  we  have  begun 
upon  it." 





I  may  here  be  permitted  to  introduce,  as  something 
germane  to  the  matter  of  the  foregoing  chapter,  a 
KECOLLECTION  of  Jubbulpore,  although  we  are  now  far 
past  that  locality. 

My  tents  are  pitched  where  they  have  often  before 
been,  on  the  verge  of  a  very  large  and  beautiful  tank 
in  a  fine  grove  of  mango  trees,  and  close  by  a  hand- 
some temple.  There  are  more  handsome  temples 
and  buildings  for  accommodation  on  the  other  side 
of  the  tank,  but  they  are  gone  sadly  out  of  repair. 
The  bank  all  round  this  noble  tank  is  beautifully 
ornamented  by  fine  banyan  and  peepul  trees,  between 
which  and  the  waters  edge  intervene  numerous 
clusters  of  the  graceful  bamboo.  These  works  were 
formed  about  eighty  years  ago  by  a  respectable 
agricultural  capitalist  who  resided  at  this  place,  and 
died  about  twenty  years  after  they  were  completed. 
No  relation  of  his  can  now  be  found  in  the  district ; 


and  not  one  in  a  thousand  of  those  who  drink  of  the 
water  or  eat  of  the  fruit,  knows  to  whom  he  is  in- 
debted. There  are  round  the  place  some  beautiful 
bowlies,  or  large  wells  with  flights  of  stone  steps  from 
the  top  to  the  water  s  edge,  imbedded  in  clusters  of 
beautiful  trees.  They  were  formed  about  the  same 
time  for  the  use  of  the  public  by  men  whose  grand- 
children have  descended  to  the  grade  of  cultivators 
of  the  soil,  or  belted  attendants  upon  the  present 
native  collectors,  without  the  means  of  repairing  any 
of  the  injury  which  time  is  inflicting  upon  these 
magnificent  works.  Three  or  four  young  peepul 
trees  have  begun  to  spread  their  delicate  branches 
and  pale  green  leaves  rustling  in  the  breeze  from 
the  dome  of  this  fine  temple,  which  these  infant 
Herculeses  hold  in  their  deadly  grasp  and  doom  to 
inevitable  destruction.  Pigeons  deposit  the  seeds  of 
the  peepul  tree,  on  which  they  chiefly  feed,  in  the 
crevices  of  buildings. 

No  Hindoo  dares,  and  no  Christian  or  Mahomedan 
will  condescend  to  lop  off  the  heads  of  these  young 
trees,  and  if  they  did,  it  would  only  put  off*  the  evil 
and  inevitable  day ;  for  such  are  the  vital  powers  of 
their  roots,  when  they  have  once  penetrated  deeply 
into  a  building,  that  they  will  send  out  their  branches 
again,  cut  them  off  as  often  as  you  may,  and  carry  on 
their  internal  attack  with  undiminished  vigour. 

No  wonder  that  superstition  should  have  conse- 
crated this  tree,  delicate  and  beautiful  as  it  is,  to  the 
gods.     The  palace,  the  castle,  the  temple,  and  the 


tomb,  all  those  works  which  man  is  most  proud  to 
raise,  to  spread  and  to  perpetuate  his  name,  crumble 
to  dust  beneath  her  withering  grasp.  She  rises 
triumphant  over  them  all  in  her  lofty  beauty,  bear- 
ing high  in  air  amidst  her  light  green  foliage  frag- 
ments of  the  wreck  she  has  made,  to  show  the 
nothingness  of  man's  greatest  efforts. 

While  sitting  at  my  tent  door  looking  out  upon 
this  beautiful  sheet  of  water,  and  upon  all  the  noble 
works  around  me,  I  thought  of  the  charge,  so  often 
made  against  the  people  of  this  fine  land,  of  the  total 
want  of  public  spirit  among  them,  by  those  who  have 
spent  their  Indian  days  in  the  busy  courts  of  law, 
and  still  more  busy  commercial  establishments  of 
our  great  metropolis. 

If  by  the  term  public  spirit  be  meant  a  disposition 
on  the  part  of  individuals  to  sacrifice  their  own  en- 
joyments, or  their  own  means  of  enjoyment  for  the 
common  good,  there  is  perhaps  no  people  in  the 
world  among  whom  it  abounds  so  much  as  among 
the  people  of  India.  To  live  in  the  gratefiil  recol- 
lections of  their  countrymen  for  benefits  conferred 
upon  them  in  great  works  of  ornament  and  utility  is 
the  study  of  every  Hindoo  of  rank  and  property. 
Such  works  tend,  in  his  opinion,  not  only  to  spread 
and  perpetuate  his  name  in  this  world,  but,  through 
the  good  wishes  and  prayers  of  those  who  are  bene- 
fited by  them,  to  secure  the  favour  of  the  Deity  in 
the  next. 

According  to  their  notions,  every  drop   of  rain 


water  or  dew  that  falls  to  the  ground  from  the  green 
leaf  of  a  fruit  tree,  planted  by  them  for  the  common 
good,  proves  a  refreshing  draught  for  their  souls  in 
the  next.  When  no  descendant  remains  to  pour  the 
funeral  libation  in  their  name,  the  water  from  the 
trees  they  have  planted  for  the  public  good  is  des- 
tined to  supply  its  place.  Every  thing  judiciously 
laid  out  to  promote  the  happiness  of  their  fellow 
creatures  will,  in  the  next  world,  be  repaid  to  them 
tenfold  by  the  Deity. 

In  marching  over  the  country  in  the  hot  season, 
we  every  morning  find  our  tents  pitched  on  the 
green  sward  amid  beautiful  groves  of  fruit  trees,  with 
wells  of  puckha  (brick  or  stone)  masonry,  built  at 
great  expense  and  containing  the  most  delicious 
water ;  but  how  few  of  us  ever  dream  of  asking  at 
whose  cost  the  trees  that  afford  us  and  our  followers 
such  agreeable  shade,  were  planted,  or  the  wells  that 
afford  us  such  copious  streams  of  fine  water  in  the 
midst  of  dry  arid  plains,  were  formed — we  go  on 
enjoying  all  the  advantages  which  arise  from  the 
noble  public  spirit  that  animates  the  people  of  India 
to  benevolent  exertions,  without  once  calling  in 
question  the  truth  of  the  assertion  of  our  metro- 
politan friends,  that  "  the  people  of  India  have  no 
j)ublic  spirit !" 

Manmare,  a  respectable  merchant  of  Mirzapore, 
who  traded  chiefly  in  bringing  cotton  from  the  valley 
of  the  Nerbudda  and  southern  India,  through  Jubbul- 
pore  to  Mirzapore,  and  in  carrying  back  sugar  and 



spices  in  return,  learning  how  much  travellers  on 
this  great  road  suffered  from  the  want  of  water 
near  the  Hilleea  pass,  under  the  Vindhya  range  of 
hills,  commenced  a  work  to  remedy  the  evil  in  1822. 
Not  a  drop  of  wholesome  water  was  to  be  found 
within  ten  miles  of  the  bottom  of  the  pass,  where 
the  laden  bullocks  were  obliged  to  rest  during  the 
hot  months,  when  the  greatest  thoroughfare  always 
took  place.  Manmare  commenced  a  large  tank  and 
garden,  and  had  laid  out  about  twenty  thousand 
rupees  in  the  work,  when  he  died.  His  son,  Lulla 
Manmare,  completed  the  work  soon  after  his  father's 
death,  at  a  cost  of  eighty  thousand  rupees  more,  that 
travellers  might  enjoy  all  the  advantages  that  his 
good  old  father  had  benevolently  intended  for  them. 
The  tank  is  very  large,  always  full  of  fine  water  even  in 
the  dryest  part  of  the  dry  season,  with  flights  of  steps 
of  cut  freestone  from  the  water's  edge  to  the  top  all 
round.  A  fine  garden  and  shrubbery,  with  temples 
and  buildings  for  accommodations,  are  attached, 
with  an  establishment  of  people  to  attend  and  keep 
them  in  order. 

All  the  country  around  this  magnificent  work  was 
a  dreary  solitude — there  was  not  a  human  habi- 
tation within  many  miles  on  any  side.  Tens  of 
thousands  who  passed  this  road  every  year  were 
blessing  the  name  of  the  man  who  had  created  it 
where  it  was  so  much  wanted,  when  the  new  road 
from  the  Nerbudda  to  Mirzapore  was  made  by  the 
British  government  to  descend  some  ten  miles  to 


the  north  of  it.  As  many  miles  were  saved  in  the  dis- 
tance by  the  new  cut,  and  the  passage  down  made 
comparatively  easy  at  great  cost,  travellers  forsook 
the  Hilleea  road,  and  poor  Manmare's  work  became 
comparatively  useless  !  I  brought  the  work  to  the 
notice  of  Lord  William  Bentinck,  who  in  passing 
Mirzapore  some  time  after,  sent  for  the  son,  and 
conferred  upon  him  a  rich  dress  of  honour,  of  which 
he  has  ever  since  been  extremely  proud. 

Hundreds  of  works  like  this  are  undertaken  every 
year  for  the  benefit  of  the  public  by  benevolent  and  un- 
ostentatious individuals,  who  look  for  their  reward,  not 
in  the  applause  of  newspapers  and  public  meetings, 
but  in  the  grateful  prayers  and  good  wishes  of  those 
who  are  benefited  by  them ;  and  in  the  favour  of 
the  Deity  in  the  next  world,  for  benefits  conferred 
upon  his  creatures  in  this.* 

What  the  people  of  India  want  is  not  public  spirit, 
for  no  men  in  the  world  have  more  of  it  than  the 
Hindoos;  but  a  disposition  on  the  part  of  private 
individuals  to  combine  their  efforts  and  means  in 
effecting  great  objects  for  the  public  good.     With 

*  Within  a  few  miles  'of  Ghosulpore  at  the  village  of  Tulwa, 
which  stands  upon  the  old  high  road  leading  to  Mirzapore,  is  a 
still  more  magnificent  tank  with  one  of  the  most  beautiful  temples 
in  India,  all  executed  two  or  three  generations  ago  at  the  expense 
of  two  or  three  lacks  of  rupees  for  the  benefit  of  the  public,  by  a 
very  worthy  man,  who  became  rich  in  the  service  of  the  former 
government.  His  descendants,  all  save  one,  now  follow  the 
plough ;  and  that  one  has  a  small  rent-free  \allage  held  on  con- 
dition of  appropriating  the  rents  to  the  repair  of  the  tank. 
VOL.    II.  O 


this  disposition  they  will  be,  in  time,  inspired  under 
our  rule,  when  the  enemies  of  all  settled  govern- 
ments may  permit  us  to  divert  a  little  of  our  intellect, 
and  our  revenue,  from  the  duties  of  war  to  those  of 

In  the  year  1829,  while  I  held  the  civil  charge  of 
the  district  of  Jubbulpore,  in  this  valley  of  the  Ner- 
budda,  I  caused  an  estimate  to  be  made  of  the 
public  works  of  ornament  and  utility  it  contained. 
The  population  of  the  district  at  that  time  amounted 
to  five  hundred  thousand  souls,  distributed  among 
four  thousand  and  fifty-three  occupied  towns,  villages, 
and  hamlets.  There  were  one  thousand  villages 
more  which  had  formerly  been  occupied,  but  were 
then  deserted.  There  were  two  thousand  two  hun- 
dred and  eighty-eight  tanks,  two  hundred  and  nine 
bowlies,  or  large  wells,  with  flights  of  steps  extend- 
ing from  the  top  down  to  the  water  when  in  its 
lowest  stage ;  fifteen  hundred  and  sixty  wells  lined 
with  brick  and  stone,  cemented  with  lime,  but  with- 
out stairs ;  three  hundred  and  sixty  Hindoo  temples, 
and  twenty-two  Mahomedan  mosques.  The  esti- 
mated cost  of  these  works  in  grain  at  the  present 
price,  that  is  the  quantity  that  would  have  been  con- 
sumed, had  the  labour  been  paid  in  kind  at  the 
present  ordinary  rate,  was  eighty-six  lacks,  sixty-six 
thousand  and  forty-three  rupees (86,66,043),  £866,604 

The   labourer  was  estimated   to  be  paid  at  the 
rate  of  about  two- thirds  the  quantity   of  corn   he 

PUBLIC    WORKS.  195 

would  get  ill  England  if  paid  in  kind,  and  corn 
sells  here  at  about  one-third  the  price  it  fetches 
in  average  seasons  in  England.  In  Europe,  therefore, 
these  works,  supposing  the  labour  equally  efficient, 
would  have  cost  at  least  four  times  the  sum  here 
estimated  ;  and  such  works  formed  by  private  indi- 
viduals for  the  public  good,  without  any  view  what- 
ever to  return  in  profits,  indicates  a  very  high  degree 
oi public  spirit. 

The  whole  annual  rent  of  the  lands  of  this  district 
amounts  to  about  six  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
rupees  a  year,  ( £65,000  sterling, )  that  is,  five 
hundred  thousand  demandable  by  the  government, 
and  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  by  those  who 
hold  the  lands  at  lease  immediately  under  govern- 
ment, over  and  above  what  may  be  considered  as  the 
profits  of  their  stock  as  farmers.  These  works  must, 
therefore,  have  cost  about  thirteen  times  the  amount 
of  the  annual  rent  of  the  whole  of  the  lands  of  the 
districts — or  the  whole  annual  rent  for  above  thirteen 
years ! 

But  I  have  not  included  the  groves  of  mango  and 
tamarind,  and  other  fine  trees  with  which  the  district 
abounds.  Two-thirds  of  the  towns  and  villages  are 
imbedded  in  fine  groves  of  these  trees,  mixed  with 
the  banyan*  and  the  peepul.f  I  am  sorry  they  were 
not  numbered ;  but  I  should  estimate  them  at  three 

*  Ficus  Indica.— H.  H.  S. 
t  Ficus  Religiosa. — H.  H. 



thousand ;  and  the  outlay  upon  a  mango  grove,  is,  on 
an  average,  about  four  hundred  rupees. 

The  groves  of  fruit-trees  planted  by  individuals  for 
the  use  of  the  public,  without  any  view  to  a  return 
in  profit,  would,  in  this  district,  according  to  this 
estimate,  have  cost  twelve  lacks  more,  or  about  twice 
the  amount  of  the  annual  rent  of  the  whole  of  the 
lands.  It  should  be  remarked  that  the  whole  of 
these  works  had  been  formed  under  former  govern- 
ments ;  ours  was  established  in  the  year  1817. 

The  Upper  Dooab  and  the  Delhi  territories  were 
denuded  of  their  trees  in  the  wars  that  attended  the 
decline  and  fall  of  the  Mahomedan  empire,  and  the 
rise  and  progrees  of  the  Seikhs,  Jats,  and  Mahrattas 
in  that  quarter.  These  lawless  freebooters  soon 
swept  all  the  groves  from  the  face  of  every 
country  they  occupied  with  their  troops,  and  they 
never  attempted  to  renew  them  or  encourage  the 
renewal.  We  have  not  been  much  more  sparing, 
and  the  finest  groves  of  fruit-trees  have  everywhere 
been  recklessly  swept  down  by  our  barrack-masters 
to  furnish  fuel  for  their  brick-kilns ;  and  I  am  afraid 
little  or  no  encouragement  is  given  for  planting 
others  to  supply  their  place  in  those  parts  of  India 
where  they  are  most  wanted. 

We  have  a  regulation,  authorising  the  lessee  of  a 
village  to  plant  a  grove  in  his  grounds,  but  where 
the  settlements  of  the  land  revenue  have  been  for 
short  periods,  as  in  all  Upper  and  Central  India,  this 

PUBLIC    WORKS.  197 

authority  is  by  no  means  sufficient  to  induce  them 
to  invest  their  property  in  such  works.  It  gives  no 
sufficient  guarantee  that  the  lessee  for  the  next  settle- 
ment shall  respect  a  grant  made  by  his  predecessors ; 
and  every  grove  of  mango-trees  requires  outlay  and 
care  for  at  least  ten  years.  Though  a  man  destines 
the  fruit,  the  shade,  and  the  water  for  the  use  of  the 
l)ublic,  he  requires  to  feel,  that  it  will  be  held  for  the 
public  in  his  name,  and  by  his  children  and  descend- 
ants ;  and  never  be  exclusively  appropriated  by  any 
man  in  power  for  his  own  use. 

If  the  lands  were  still  to  belong  to  the  lessee  of 
the  estate  under  government,  and  the  trees  only  to 
the  planter  and  to  his  heirs,  he  to  whom  the  land  be- 
longed might  very  soon  render  the  property  in  the 
trees  of  no  value  to  the  planter  or  his  heirs. 

If  government  wishes  to  have  the  Upper  Dooab, 
the  Delhi,  Mutra,  and  Agra  districts  again  enriched 
and  embellished  with  mango  groves,  they  will  not 
delay  to  convey  this  feeling  to  the  hundreds,  nay 
thousands,  who  would  be  willing  and  anxious  to  plant 
them  upon  a  single  guarantee,  that  the  lands  upon 
which  the  trees  stand  shall  be  considered  to  belong 
to  them  and  their  heirs  as  long  as  these  trees  stand 
upon  them.  That  the  land,  the  shade,  the  fruit,  and  the 
water  will  be  left  to  the  free  enjoyment  of  the  public, 
we  may  take  for  granted,  since  the  good  which  the 
planter's  soul  is  to  derive  from  such  a  work  in  the 
next  world,  must  depend  upon  their  being  so ;  and 
all  that  is  required  to  be  stipulated  in  such  grants  is, 


that  mango,  tamarind,  peepul  or  bur  trees,  at  the 
rate  of  twenty-five  the  English  acre,  shall  be  planted 
and  kept  up  in  every  piece  of  land  granted  for  the 
purpose ;  and  that  a  well  of  pucka  masonry  shall  be 
made  for  the  purpose  of  watering  them  in  the  smallest, 
as  well  as  in  the  largest  piece  of  ground  granted  and 
kept  always  in  repair. 

If  the  grantee  fulfil  the  conditions,  he  ought,  in 
order  to  cover  part  of  the  expense,  to  be  permitted 
to  till  the  land  under  the  trees  till  they  grow  to 
maturity  and  yield  their  fruit ;  if  he  fails,  the  lands, 
having  been  declared  liable  to  resumption,  should  be 
resumed.  The  person  soliciting  such  grants  should 
be  required  to  certify  in  his  application,  that  he  had 
already  obtained  the  sanction  of  the  present  lessee  of 
the  village  in  which  he  wishes  to  have  his  grove,  and 
for  this  sanction  he  would  of  course  have  to  pay  the  full 
value  of  the  land  for  the  period  of  his  lease.  When 
his  lease  expires,  the  land  in  which  the  grove  is 
planted  would  be  excluded  from  the  assessment ;  and 
when  it  is  considered  that  every  good  grove  must 
cost  the  planter  more  than  fifty  times  th^  annual 
rent  of  the  land,  government  may  be  satisfied,  that 
they  secure  the  advantage  to  their  people  at  a  very 
cheap  rate ! 

Over  and  above  the  advantage  of  fruit,  water,  and 
shade,  for  the  public,  these  groves  tend  much  to  se- 
cure the  districts  that  are  well  studded  with  them, 
from  the  dreadful  calamities  that,  in  India,  always 
attend  upon  deficient  falls  of  rain  in  due  seasons. 


They  attract  the  clouds,  and  make  them  deposit 
their  stores  in  districts  that  would  not  otherwise  be 
blessed  with  them ;  and  hot  and  dry  countries  de- 
nuded of  their  trees,  and  by  that  means  deprived  of 
a  great  portion  of  that  moisture  to  which  they  had 
been  accustomed,  and  which  they  require  to  support 
vegetation,  soon  become  dreary  and  arid  wastes.  The 
lighter  particles,  which  formed  the  richest  portion  of 
their  soil,  blow  off,  and  leave  only  the  heavy  arana- 
ceous  portion ;  and  hence,  perhaps,  those  sandy 
deserts,  in  which  are  often  to  be  found  the  signs  of 
a  population  once  very  dense. 

In  the  Mauritius,  the  rivers  were  found  to  be  di- 
minishing under  the  rapid  disappearance  of  the  woods 
in  the  interior,  when  government  had  recourse  to  the 
measure  of  preventing  further  depredations,  and  they 
soon  recovered  their  size. 

The  clouds  brought  up  from  the  southern  ocean 
by  the  south-east  trade- wind,  are  attracted,  as  they 
pass  over  the  island,  by  the  forests  in  the  interior, 
and  made  to  drop  their  stores  in  daily  refreshing 
showers.  In  many  other  parts  of  the  world,  govern- 
ments have  now  become  aware  of  this  mysterious 
provision  of  nature ;  and  have  adopted  measures  to 
take  advantage  of  it  for  the  benefit  of  the  people ; 
and  the  dreadful  sufferings  to  which  the  people  of 
those  of  our  districts,  which  have  been  the  most  de- 
nuded of  their  trees,  have  been  of  late  years  exposed 
from  the  want  of  rain  in  due  season,  may,  perhaps, 
induce  our  Indian  government  to  turn  its  thoughts  to 
the  subject. 


The  province  of  Malwa,  which  is  bordered  by 
the  Nerbudda  on  the  south,  Guzerat  on  the  west, 
Rajpootana  on  the  north,  and  Allahabad  on  the 
east,  is  said  never  to  have  been  visited  by  a  famine ; 
and  this  exemption  from  so  great  a  calamity,  must 
arise  chiefly  from  its  being  so  well  studded  with 
hills  and  groves.  The  natives  have  a  couplet,  which, 
like  all  good  couplets  on  rural  subjects,  is  attributed 
to  Sehdeo,  one  of  the  five  demigod  brothers  of  the 
Mahabharut,  to  this  effect — "  If  it  does  not  thunder 
on  such  a  night,  you,  father,  must  go  to  Malwa 
and  I  to  Guzerat,"  meaning  the  rains  will  fail  us 
here,  and  we  must  go  to  those  quarters  where 
they  never  fail. 




On  the  17th  and  18th,  we  went  on  twenty  miles 
to  Pulwul,  which  stands  upon  an  immense  mound 
in  some  places  a  hundred  feet  high,  formed  entirely 
of  the  debris  of  old  buildings.  There  are  an  im- 
mense number  of  fine  brick  buildings  in  ruins ;  but 
not  one  of  brick  or  st  one  at  present  inhabited.  The 
place  was  once  evidently  under  the  former  govern- 
ment the  seat  of  some  great  public  establishments, 
which,  with  their  followers  and  dependents,  con- 
stituted almost  the  entire  population.  The  occasion 
which  keeps  such  establishments  at  a  place  no  sooner 
passes  away,  than  the  place  is  deserted  and  goes  to 
ruin  as  a  matter  of  course.  Such  is  the  history  of 
Nineveh,  Babylon,  and  all  cities  which  have  owed 
their  origin  and  support  entirely  to  the  public  es- 


tablishments  of  the  sovereign — any  revolution  that 
changed  the  seat  of  government  depopulated  a  city. 

Sir  Thomas  Roe,  the  ambassador  of  James  the 
1st  of  England  to  the  court  of  Delhi,  during  the 
reign  of  Jehangeer,  passing  through  some  of  the  old 
capital  cities  of  southern  India,  then  deserted  and  in 
ruins,  writes  to  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury: 
"  T  know  not  by  what  policy  the  Emperors  seek  the 
ruin  of  all  the  ancient  cities  which  were  nobly  built, 
but  now  lie  desolate  and  in  rubbish.  It  must 
arise  from  a  wish  to  destroy  all  the  ancient  cities, 
in  order  that  there  might  appear  nothing  great 
to  have  existed  before  their  time."  But  these  cities, 
like  all  which  are  supported  in  the  same  manner,  by 
the  residence  of  a  court  and  its  establishments, 
become  deserted  as  the  seat  of  dominion  is  changed. 
Nineveh,  built  by  Ninus,  out  of  the  spoils  he  brought 
back  from  the  wide  range  of  his  conquests,  continued 
to  be  the  residence  of  the  court  and  the  principal 
seat  of  its  military  establishments  for  thirteen  cen- 
turies, to  the  reign  of  Sardanapalus.  During  the 
whole  of  this  time,  it  was  the  practice  of  the  sove- 
reigns to  collect  from  all  the  provinces  of  the  empire 
their  respective  quotas  of  troops,  and  to  canton  them 
within  the  city  for  one  year,  at  the  expiration  of 
which  they  were  relieved  by  fresh  troops.  In  the 
last  years  of  Sardanapalus,  four  provinces  of  the 
empire.  Media,  Persia,  Babylonia,  and  Arabia,  are 
said  to  have  furnished  a  quota  of  four  hundred 
tliousand;  and   in  the   rebellion   which   closed   his 


reign,  these  troops  were  often  beaten  by  those  from 
the  other  provinces  of  the  empire,  which  could  not 
have  been  much  less  in  number.  The  successful 
rebel,  Arbaces,  transferred  the  court  and  its  appen- 
dages to  his  own  capital,  and  Nineveh  became  de- 
serted ;  and  for  more  than  eighteen  centuries  lost  to 
the  civilized  world. 

Babylon  in  the  same  manner ;  and  Susa,  Ecbatana, 
Persepolis,  and  Seleucia  all,  one  after  the  other, 
became  deserted  as  sovereigns  changed  their  resi- 
dence, and  with  it  the  seats  of  their  public  establish- 
ments, which  alone  supported  them.  Thus  Thebes 
became  deserted  for  Memphis,  Memphis  for  Alex- 
andria, and  Alexandria  for  Cairo,  as  the  sovereigns 
of  Egypt  changed  theirs ;  and  thus  it  has  always 
been  in  India,  where  cities  have  been  almost  all 
founded  on  the  same  bases,  the  residence  of  princes 
or  governors,  and  their  public  establishments  civil, 
military,  or  ecclesiastical. 

The  city  of  Kunouj,  on  the  Ganges,  when  con- 
quered by  Mahomed  of  Ghuznee,  is  stated  by  the 
historians  of  the  conqueror,  to  have  contained  a 
standing  army  of  five  hundred  thousand  infantry, 
with  a  due  proportion  of  cavalry  and  elephants, 
thirty  thousand  shops  for  the  sale  of  pawns  alone, 
and  sixty  thousand  families  of  opera  girls.  The 
pawn  dealers  and  opera  girls  were  part  and  parcel 
of  the  court  and  its  public  establishments,  and  as 
much  dependent  upon  the  residence  of  the  sovereign, 
as  the  civil,  military,  and  ecclesiastical  officers  who 


ate  their  pawns,  and  enjoyed  their  dancing  and 
music ;  and  this  great  city  no  sooner  ceased  to  be 
the  residence  of  the  sovereign,  the  great  proprietor 
of  all  the  lands  in  the  country,  than  it  became  de- 

After  the  establishment  of  the  Mahomedan  domi- 
nion in  India,  almost  all  the  Hindoo  cities,  within 
the  wide  range  of  their  conquest,  became  deserted  as 
the  necessary  consequence,  as  the  military  establish- 
ments were  all  destroyed  or  disbanded,  and  the 
religious  establishments  scattered,  their  lands  con- 
fiscated, their  idols  broken,  and  their  temples  either 
reduced  to  ruins  in  the  first  ebullition  of  fanatical 
zeal,  or  left  deserted  and  neglected  to  decay  from 
want  of  those  revenues  by  which  alone  they  had 
been  or  could  be  supported.  The  towns  and  cities 
of  the  Roman  empire,  which  owed  their  origin  to 
the  same  cause,  the  residence  of  governors  and  their 
legions,  or  other  public  establishments,  resisted  similar 
shocks  with  more  endurance,  because  they  had  most 
of  them  ceased  to  depend  upon  the  causes  in  which 
they  originated,  and  begun  to  rest  upon  other  bases. 
When  destroyed  by  wave  after  wave  of  barbarian 
conquest,  they  were  restored  for  the  most  part  by  the 
residence  of  church  dignitaries  and  their  establish- 
ments ;  and  the  military  establishments  of  the  new 
order  of  things,  instead  of  remaining  as  standing 
armies  about  the  courts  of  princes,  dispersed  after 
every  campaign  like  militia,  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of 
the    lands    assigned   for  their  maintenance,  where 


alone  they  could  be  enjoyed  in  the  rude  state  to 
which  society  had  been  reduced,  upon  the  lands 

For  some  time  after  the  Mahomedan  conquest  of 
India,  that  part  of  it  which  was  brought  effectually 
under  the  new  dominion,  can  hardly  be  considered  to 
have  had  more  than  one  city  with  its  dependent  towns 
and  villages;  because  the  Emperor  chose  to  con- 
centrate the  greater  part  of  his  military  establish- 
ments around  the  seat  of  his  residence ;  and  this 
great  city  became  deserted  whenever  he  thought  it 
necessary  or  convenient  to  change  that  seat. 

But  when  the  Emperor  began  to  govern  his  dis- 
tant provinces  by  viceroys,  he  was  obliged  to  con- 
fide to  them  a  share  of  his  military  establishments, 
the  only  public  establishments  which  a  conqueror 
thought  it  worth  while  to  maintain ;  and  while  they 
moved  about  in  their  respective  provinces,  the  im- 
perial camp  became  fixed.  The  great  officers  of 
state,  enriched  by  the  plunder  of  conquered  provinces, 
began  to  spend  their  wealth  in  the  construction  of 
magnificent  works  for  private  pleasure  or  public 
convenience.  In  time,  the  viceroys  began  to  govern 
their  provinces  by  means  of  deputies,  who  moved 
about  their  respective  districts,  and  enabled  their 
masters,  the  viceroys  of  provinces,  to  convert  their 
camps  into  cities,  which  in  magnificence  often  rivalled 
that  of  the  Emperor  their  master.  The  deputies 
themselves  in  time  found  that  they  could  govern 
their  respective  districts  from  a  central  point ;  and  as 


their  camps  became  fixed  in  the  chosen  spots,  towns 
of  considerable  magnitude  rose^  and  sometimes 
rivalled  the  capitals  of  the  Viceroys.  The  Maho- 
medans  had  always  a  greater  taste  for  architectural 
magnificence,  as  well  in  their  private  as  in  their 
public  edifices,  than  the  Hindoos,  who  sought  the 
respect  and  good  wishes  of  mankind  through  the 
medium  of  groves  and  reservoirs  diffused  over  the 
country  for  their  benefit.  Whenever  a  Mahomedan 
camp  was  converted  into  a  town  or  city,  almost  all 
the  means  of  individuals  were  spent  in  the  grati- 
fication of  this  taste.  Their  wealth  in  money  and 
moveables  would  be,  on  their  death,  at  the  mercy  of 
their  prince — their  offices  would  be  conferred  on 
strangers ;  tombs  and  temples,  canals,  bridges,  and 
caravansaries,  gratuitously  for  the  public  good,  would 
tend  to  propitiate  the  Deity,  and  conciliate  the  good 
will  of  mankind,  and  might  also  tend  to  the  advance- 
ment of  their  children  in  the  service  of  the  sove- 
reign. The  towns  and  cities  which  rose  upon  the 
sites  of  the  standing  camps  of  the  governors  of  pro- 
vinces and  districts  in  India,  were  many  of  them  as 
much  adorned  by  private  and  public  edifices  as  those 
which  rose  upon  the  standing  camps  of  the  Maho- 
medan conquerors  of  Spain. 

Standing  camps  converted  into  towns  and  cities,  it 
became  in  time  necessary  to  fortify  with  walls  against 
surprise  under  any  sudden  ebullition  among  the  con- 
quered people ;  and  fortifications  and  strong  garrisons 
often  suggested  to  the  bold  and  ambitious  governors 



of  distant  provinces,  attempts  to  shake  off  the  im- 
perial yoke.  That  portion  of  the  annual  revenue, 
which  had  hitherto  flowed  in  copious  streams  of 
tribute,  to  the  distant  imperial  capital,  was  now 
arrested,  and  made  to  augment  the  local  establish- 
ments, adorn  the  cities,  and  enrich  the  towns  of  the 
Viceroys,  now  become  the  sovereigns  of  independent 
kingdoms.  The  lieutenant-governors  of  these  new 
sovereigns,  possessed  of  fortified  towns,  in  their  turn 
often  shook  off  the  yoke  of  their  masters  in  the  same 
manner,  and  became  in  their  turn  the  independent 
sovereigns  of  their  respective  districts.  The  whole 
resources  of  the  countries  subject  to  their  rule,  being 
employed  to  strengthen  and  improve  their  condition, 
they  soon  became  rich  and  powerful  kingdoms, 
adorned  with  splendid  cities  and  populous  towns, 
since  the  public  establishments  of  the  sovereigns, 
among  whom  all  the  revenues  where  expended,  spent 
all  they  received  in  the  purchase  of  the  produce 
of  the  land  and  labour  of  the  surrounding  country, 
which  required  no  other  market. 

Thus  the  successful  rebellion  of  one  Viceroy  con- 
verted southern  India  into  an  independent  king- 
dom ;  and  the  successful  rebellion  of  his  lieutenant- 
governors  in  time  divided  it  into  four  independent 
kingdoms,  each  with  a  standing  army  of  a  hundred 
thousand  men,  and  adorned  with  towns  and  cities  of 
great  strength  and  magnificence.  But  they  continued 
to  depend  upon  the  causes  in  which  they  originated — 
the  public  establishments  of  the  sovereign ;  and  when 


the  Emperor  Akbar  and  his  successors,  aided  by 
their  own  intestine  wars,  had  conquered  these  sove- 
reigns, and  again  reduced  their  kingdoms  to  tributary 
provinces,  almost  all  these  cities  and  towns  became 
depopulated  as  the  necessary  consequence.  The 
public  establishments  were  again  moving  about  with 
the  courts  and  camps  of  the  Emperor  and  his  Vice- 
roys ;  and  drawing  in  their  train  all  those  who  found 
employment  and  subsistence  in  contributing  to  their 
efficiency  and  enjoyment.  It  was  not  as  our  am- 
bassador, in  the  simplicity  of  his  heart,  supposed,  the 
disinclination  of  the  Emperors  to  see  any  other 
towns  magnificent,  save  those  in  which  they  resided, 
which  destroyed  them,  but  their  ambition  to  reduce 
all  independent  kingdoms  to  tributary  provinces. 




At  Pulwul,  Mr.  Wilmot  and  Mr.  Wright,  who 
had  come  on  business,  and  Mr.  Gubbins,  breakfasted 
and  dined  with  us.  They  complained  sadly  of  the 
solitude  to  which  they  were  condemned,  but  admitted 
that  they  should  not  be  able  to  get  through  half  so 
much  business  were  they  placed  at  a  large  station, 
and  exposed  to  all  the  temptations  and  distrac- 
tions of  a  gay  and  extensive  circle,  nor  feel  the 
same  interest  in  their  duties,  or  sympathy  with 
the  people,  as  they  do  when  thrown  among  them  in 
this  manner.  To  give  young  men  good  feelings  to- 
wards the  natives,  the  only  good  way  is  to  throw 
them  among  them  at  those  out  stations  in  the  early 
part  of  their  career,  when  all  their  feelings  are  fresh 
about  them.  This  holds  good,  as  well  with  the  mili- 
tary as  the  civil  officer,  but  more  especially  with  the 

VOL.  II.  p 


latter.  A  young  officer  at  an  outpost  with  his  corps, 
or  part  of  it,  for  the  first  season  or  two,  commonly 
lays  in  a  good  store  of  feeling  towards  his  men  that 
lasts  him  for  life ;  and  a  young  gentleman  of  the 
civil  service  lays  in,  in  the  same  manner,  a  good  store 
of  sympathy  and  fellow  feeling  with  the  natives  in 

Mr.  Gubbins  is  the  magistrate  and  collector  of 
one  of  the  three  districts  into  which  the  Delhi  terri- 
tories are  divided,  and  he  has  charge  of  Ferozepore, 
the  resumed  estate  of  the  late  Nawab  Shumshoodeen, 
which  yields  a  net  revenue  of  about  two  hundred 
thousand  rupees  a  year.  I  have  already  stated  that 
this  Nawab  took  good  care  that  his  Mewattee  plun- 
derers should  not  rob  within  his  own  estate ;  but  he 
not  only  gave  them  free  permission  to  rob  over  the 
surrounding  districts  of  our  territories,  but  encou- 
raged them  to  do  so,  that  he  might  share  in  their 
booty.  He  was  a  handsome  young  man,  and  an 
extremely  agreeable  companion ;  but  a  most  unprin- 
cipled and  licentious  character.  No  man  who  was 
reputed  to  have  a  handsome  wife  or  daughter  was 
for  a  moment  safe  within  his  territories.  The  fol- 
lowing account  of  Mr.  William  Eraser's  assassina- 
tion by  this  Nawab,  may,  I  think,  be  relied  upon. 

The  Ferozepore  Jageer  was  one  of  the  principa- 
lities created  under  the  principle  of  Lord  Cornwallis's 
second  administration,  which  was  to  make  the  secu- 
rity of  the  British  dominions  dependent  upon  the  divi- 
sions among  the  independent  native  chiefs  upon  their 

MURDER    OF    MR.    FRASER.  211 

frontiers.  The  person  receiving  the  grant  or  confir- 
mation of  such  principality  from  the  British  govern- 
ment, "  pledged  himself  to  relinquish  all  claims  to 
aid ;  and  to  maintain  the  peace  in  his  own  posses- 
sions." Ferozepore  was  conferred  by  Lord  Lake,  in 
1805,  upon  Ahmud  Buksh,  for  his  diplomatic  ser- 
vices, out  of  the  territories  acquired  by  us  west  of 
the  Jumna,  during  the  Mahratta  wars.  He  had  been 
the  agent  on  the  part  of  the  Hindoo  chiefs  of  Alwar, 
in  attendance  upon  Lord  Lake  during  the  whole  of 
that  war.  He  was  a  great  favourite ;  and  his  lord- 
ship's personal  regard  for  him  was  thought  by  those 
chiefs,  to  have  been  so  favourable  to  their  cause,  that 
they  conferred  upon  him  the  Pergunnah  of  Loharo 
in  hereditary  rent-free  tenure. 

In  1822,  Ahmud  Buksh  declared  Shumshoodeen, 
his  eldest  son,  his  heir,  with  the  sanction  of  the  Bri- 
tish government,  and  the  Rajahs  of  Alwar.  In 
February  1825,  Shumshoodeen,  at  the  request  of  his 
father,  by  a  formal  deed  assigned  over  the  Pergunnah 
of  Loharo,  as  a  provision  for  his  younger  brothers, 
by  another  mother,  Ameenoodeen  and  Zeeoodeen  ;* 
and  in  October,  1826,  he  was  finally  invested  by  his 
father  with  the  management ;  and  the  circumstance 
was  notified  to  the  British  government,  through  the 
resident  at  Delhi,  Sir  Charles  Metcalfe.  Ahmud 
Buksh  died  in  October,  1827.     Disputes  soon  after 

*  Ameenoodeen  and  Zeeoodeen' s  mother  was  the  Bhow 
Begum,  or  wife ;  Shumshoodeen' s  the  Bow  Khunum,  or  mis- 

p  2 


arose  between  the  brothers ;  and  they  expressed  a 
desire  to  submit  their  claims  to  the  arbitration  of  Sir 
Edward  Colebroke,  who  had  succeeded  Sir  Charles 
Metcalfe  in  the  residency  of  Delhi.  He  referred  the 
matter  to  the  supreme  government ;  and  by  their 
instructions,  under  date  11th  of  April,  1828,  he  w^as 
authorised  to  adjust  the  matter.  He  decided  that 
Shumshoodeen  should  make  a  complete  and  unen- 
cumbered cession  to  his  younger  brothers  of  the 
Pergunnah  of  Loharo,  without  the  reservation  of  any 
right  of  interference  in  the  management,  or  of  any 
condition  of  obedience  to  himself  whatever ;  and  that 
Ameenoodeen  should,  till  his  younger  brother  came 
of  age,  pay  into  the  Delhi  treasury  for  him  the  an- 
nual sum  of  five  thousand  two  hundred  and  ten 
rupees,  as  his  half  share  of  the  net  proceeds,  to  be 
there  held  in  deposit  for  him ;  and  that  the  estate 
should,  from  the  time  he  came  of  age,  be  divided 
between  them  in  equal  shares.  This  award  was  con- 
firmed by  government ;  but  Sir  Edward  was  recom- 
mended to  alter  it  for  an  annual  money  payment  to 
the  two  younger  brothers,  if  he  could  do  so  with  the 
consent  of  the  parties. 

The  Pergunnah  was  transferred,  as  the  money  pay- 
ment could  not  be  agreed  upon ;  and  in  September, 
Mr.  Martin,  who  had  succeeded  Sir  E.  Colebrook,  pro- 
posed to  government,  that  the  Pergunnah  of  Loharo 
should  be  restored  to  Shumshoodeen,  in  lieu  of  a 
fixed  sum  of  twenty-six  thousand  rupees  a  year,  to 
be  paid  by  him  annually  to  his  two  younger  brothers. 

MURDER   OF    MR.    FRASER.  213 

This  proposal  was  made,  on  the  ground  that  Amee- 
noodeen  could  not  collect  the  revenues  from  the  re- 
fractorj  landholders,  (instigated,  no  doubt,  by  the 
emissaries  of  Shumshoodeen,)  and,  consequently, 
could  not  pay  his  younger  brother's  revenue  into  the 
treasury.  In  calculating  the  annual  net  revenue  of 
ten  thousand  four  hundred  and  twenty  rupees,  fifteen 
thousand  of  the  gross  revenue  had  been  estimated  as 
the  annual  expenses  of  the  mutual  establishments  of 
the  two  brothers.  To  the  arrangement  proposed  by 
Mr.  Martin,  the  younger  brothers  strongly  objected ; 
and  proposed,  in  preference,  to  make  over  the  Per- 
gunnah  to  the  British  government,  on  condition  of 
receiving  the  net  revenue,  whatever  might  be  the 
amount.  Mr.  Martin  was  desired  by  the  Governor- 
general  to  effect  this  arrangement,  should  Ameenoo- 
deen  appear  still  to  wish  it ;  but  he  preferred  re- 
taining the  management  of  it  in  his  own  hands,  in 
the  hope  that  circumstances  would  improve. 

Shumshoodeen,  however,  pressed  his  claim  to  the 
restoration  of  the  Pergunnah  so  often,  that  it  was  at 
last,  in  September,  1833,  insisted  upon  by  govern- 
ment, on  the  ground  that  Ameenoodeen  had  failed 
to  fulfil  that  article  of  the  agreement  which  bound 
him  to  pay  annually  into  the  Delhi  treasury,  five 
thousand  two  hundred  and  ten  rupees  for  his  younger 
brother,  though  that  brother  had  never  complained  ; 
on  the  contrary,  lived  with  him  on  the  best  possible 
terms,  and  was  as  averse  as  himself  to  the  retransfer 
of  the  Pergunnah,  on  condition  that  they  gave  up 


their  claims  to  a  large  share  of  the  moveable  pro- 
perty of  their  late  father,  which  had  been  already  de- 
cided in  their  favour  in  the  court  of  first  instance. 
Mr.  W.  Fraser,  who  had  succeeded  to  the  office  of 
Governor-generaFs  representative  in  the  Delhi  terri- 
tories, remonstrated  strongly  against  this  measure ; 
and  wished  to  bring  it  again  under  the  consideration 
of  government,  on  the  grounds  that  Zeeoodeen  had 
never  made  any  complaint  against  his  brother  Amee- 
noodeen,  for  want  of  punctuality  in  the  payment  of 
his  share  of  the  net  revenue  after  the  payment  of 
their  mutual  establishments ;  that  the  two  brothers 
would  be  deprived  by  this  measure  of  an  hereditary 
estate  to  the  value  of  sixty  thousand  rupees  a  year 
in  perpetuity,  burthened  with  the  condition,  that 
they  relinquished  a  suit  already  gained  in  the  court 
of  first  instance,  and  likely  to  be  gained  in  appeal, 
involving  a  sum  that  would,  of  itself,  yield  them  that 
annual  sum,  at  the  moderate  interest  of  six  per  cent. 
The  grounds  alleged  by  him  were  not  considered 
valid ;  and  the  Pergunnah  was  made  over  to  Shum- 
shoodeen.  The  Pergunnah  now  yields  forty  thou- 
sand rupees  a  year,  and  under  good  management  may 
yield  seventy  thousand. 

At  Mr.  Eraser's  recommendation,  Ameenoodeen 
went  himself  to  Calcutta,  and  is  said  to  have  pre- 
vailed upon  the  government  to  take  his  case  again 
into  their  consideration.  Shumshoodeen  had  become 
a  debauched  and  licentious  character;  and  having 
criminal  jurisdiction  within  his  own  estate,  no  one's 

MURDER    OF    MR.    ERASER.  215 

wife  or  daughter  was  considered  safe ;  for  when  other 
means  failed  him,  he  did  not  scruple  to  employ  assas- 
sins to  effect  his  hated  purposes,  by  removing  the 
husband  or  father.  Mr.  Fraser  became  so  disgusted 
with  his  conduct,  that  he  would  not  admit  him  into 
his  house  when  he  came  to  Delhi,  though  he  had,  it 
may  be  said,  brought  him  up  as  a  child  of  his  own ; 
indeed  he  had  been  as  fond  of  him  as  he  could  be  of 
a  child  of  his  own ;  and  the  boy  used  to  spend  the 
greater  part  of  his  time  with  him.  One  day,  after 
Mr.  Fraser  had  refused  to  admit  the  Nawab  to  his 
house.  Colonel  Skinner,  having  some  apprehensions 
that  by  such  slights  he  might  be  driven  to  seek  re- 
venge by  assassination,  is  said  to  have  remonstrated 
with  Mr.  Fraser  as  his  oldest  and  most  valued  friend. 
Mr.  Fraser  told  him  that  he  considered  the  Nawab 
to  be  still  but  a  boy ;  and  the  only  way  to  improve 
him  was  to  treat  him  as  such.  It  was,  however, 
more  by  these  slights,  than  by  any  supposed  injuries, 
that  Shumshoodeen  was  exasperated ;  and  from  that 
day  he  determined  to  have  Mr.  Fraser  assassinated. 

Having  prevailed  upon  a  man,  Kureem  Khan,  who 
was  at  once  his  servant  and  boon  companion,  he  sent 
him  to  Delhi  with  one  of  his  carriages,  which  he  was 
to  have  sold  through  Mr.  MTherson,  an  European 
merchant  of  the  city.  He  was  ordered  to  stay  there 
ostensibly  for  the  purpose  of  learning  the  process  of 
extracting  copper  from  the  fossil  containing  the 
ore,  and  purchasing  dogs  for  the  Nawab.  He  was 
to  watch  his  opportunity,  and  shoot  Mr.  Fraser  when- 


ever  he  might  find  him  out  at  night,  attended  by 
only  one  or  two  orderlies ;  to  be  in  no  haste,  but  to 
wait  till  he  found  a  favourable  opportunity,  though  it 
should  be  for  several  months.  He  had  with  him  a 
groom  named  Roopla,  and  a  Mehwatee  attendant 
named  Uneea,  and  they  lodged  in  apartments  of  the 
Nawab's  at  Durreowgunge.  He  rode  out  morning 
and  evening,  attended  by  Uneea  on  foot,  for  three 
months,  during  which  time  he  often  met  Mr.  Fraser, 
but  never  under  circumstances  favourable  to  his  pur- 
pose ;  and  at  last,  in  despair,  returned  to  Ferozepore. 
Uneea  had  importuned  him  for  leave  to  go  home  to 
see  his  children,  who  had  been  ill ;  and  Kureem  Khan 
did  not  like  to  remain  without  him.  The  Nawab 
was  displeased  with  him  for  returning  without  leave, 
and  ordered  him  to  return  to  his  post  and  effect  the 
object  of  his  mission.  Uneea  declined  to  return, 
and  the  Nawab  recommended  Kureem  to  take  some- 
body else,  but  he  had,  he  said,  explained  all  his  de- 
signs to  this  man,  and  it  would  be  dangerous  to 
entrust  the  secret  to  another ;  and  he  could,  more- 
over, rely  entirely  upon  the  courage  of  Uneea  on  any 
trying  occasion. 

Twenty  rupees  were  due  to  the  treasury  by  Uneea, 
on  account  of  the  rent  of  the  little  tenement  he  held 
under  the  Nawab ;  and  the  treasurer  consented,  at 
the  request  of  Kureem  Khan,  to  receive  this  by 
small  instalments,  to  be  deducted  out  of  the  monthly 
wages  he  was  to  receive  from  him.  He  was,  more- 
over, assured  that  he  should  have  nothing  to  do  but 

MURDER   OP   MR.    ERASER.  217 

to  cook  and  eat;  and  should  share  liberally  with 
Kureem  in  the  one  hundred  rupees  he  was  taking 
with  him  in  money,  and  the  letter  of  credit  upon  the 
Nawab's  bankers  at  Delhi,  for  one  thousand  rupees 
more.  The  Nawab  himself  came  with  them  as  far 
as  the  village  of  Nugeena,  where  he  used  to  hunt ; 
and  there  Kureem  requested  permission  to  change 
his  groom,  as  he  thought  Roopla  too  shrewd  a  man 
for  such  a  purpose.  He  wanted,  he  said,  a  stupid, 
sleepy  man,  who  would  neither  ask  nor  understand 
anything ;  but  the  Nawab  told  him  that  Roopla  was 
an  old  and  quiet  servant,  upon  whose  fidelity  he 
could  entirely  rely ;  and  Kureem  consented  to  take 
him.  Uneea's  little  tenement,  upon  which  his  wife 
and  children  resided,  was  only  two  miles  distant,  and 
he  went  to  give  instructions  about  gathering  in  the 
harvest,  and  to  take  leave  of  them.  He  told  his 
wife  that  he  was  going  to  the  capital  on  a  difficult 
and  dangerous  duty,  but  that  his  companion,  Kureem, 
would  do  it  all  no  doubt.  Uneea  asked  Kureem, 
before  they  left  Nugeena,  what  was  to  be  his  reward ; 
and  he  told  him  that  the  Nawab  had  promised  them 
five  villages  in  rent-free  tenure.  Uneea  wished  to 
learn  from  the  Nawab  himself  what  he  might  ex- 
pect ;  and  being  taken  to  him  by  Kureem,  was  as- 
sured that  he  and  his  family  should  be  provided  for 
handsomely  for  the  rest  of  their  lives,  if  he  did  his 
duty  well  on  this  occasion. 

On  reaching  Delhi  they  took  up  their  quarters 
near  Colonel    Skinner's  house,    in  the   Bulvemar's 


Ward,  where  they  resided  for  two  months.  The 
Nawab  had  told  Kureem  to  get  a  gun  made  for  his 
purpose  at  Delhi,  or  purchase  one,  stating  that  his 
guns  had  all  been  purchased  through  Colonel  Skin- 
ner, and  would  lead  to  suspicion  if  seen  in  his  posses- 
sion. On  reaching  Delhi,  Kureem  purchased  an  old 
gun,  and  desired  Uneea  to  go  to  a  certain  man  in  the 
Chandoree  Choke,  and  get  it  made  in  the  form  of  a 
short  blunderbuss,  with  a  peculiar  stock,  that  would 
admit  of  its  being  concealed  under  a  cloak  ;  and  to 
say  that  he  was  going  to  Gwalior  to  seek  service,  if 
any  one  questioned  him.  The  barrel  was  cut,  and 
the  instrument  made  exactly  as  Kureem  wished  it  to 
be  by  the  man  whom  he  pointed  out.  They  met 
Mr.  Fraser  every  day,  but  never  at  night ;  and 
Kureem  expressed  regret  that  the  Nowab  should 
have  so  strictly  enjoined  him  not  to  shoot  him  in 
the  day  time,  which  he  thought  he  might  do  without 
much  risk.  Uneea  got  an  attack  of  fever,  and  urged 
Kureem  to  give  up  the  attempt,  and  return  home,  or 
at  least  permit  him  to  do  so.  Kureem  himself  be- 
came weary,  and  said  he  would  do  so  very  soon  if  he 
could  not  succeed ;  but  that  he  should  certainly  shoot 
some  European  gentleman  before  he  set  out,  and  tell 
his  master  that  he  had  taken  him  for  Mr.  Fraser,  to 
save  appearances  !  Uneea  told  him  that  this  was  a 
question  between  him  and  his  master,  and  no  con- 
cern of  his. 

At  the  expiration  of  two  months,  a  j)eon  came 
to  learn  what  they  were  doing.     Kureem  wrote  a 

MURDER    OF    MR.    FRASER.  219 

letter  by  him  to  the  Nawab,  saying,  "  that  the  dog  he 
wished  was  never  to  be  seen  without  ten  or  twelve 
people  about  him ;  and  that  he  saw  no  chance  what- 
ever of  finding  him,  except  in  the  midst  of  them ;  but 
that  if  he  wished  he  would  purchase  this  dog  in  the 
midst  of  the  crowd."  The  Nawab  wrote  a  reply, 
which  was  sent  by  a  trooper,  with  orders  that  it 
should  be  opened  in  presence  of  no  one  but  Uneea. 
The  contents  were — "  I  command  you  not  to  pur- 
chase the  dog  in  presence  of  many  persons,  as  its  price 
will  be  greatly  raised.  You  may  purchase  him  be- 
fore one  person,  or  even  two,  but  not  before  more. 
I  am  in  no  hurry,  the  longer  the  time  you  take  the 
better;  but  do  not  return  without  purchasing  the 
dog''     That  is,  without  killing  Mr.  Fraser ! 

They  went  on  every  day  to  watch  Mr.  Fraser's 
movements.  Leaving  the  horse  with  the  groom, 
sometimes  in  one  old  ruin  of  the  city,  and  sometimes 
in  another,  ready  saddled  for  flight,  with  orders  that 
he  should  not  be  exposed  to  the  view  of  passers  by, 
Kureem  and  Uneea  used  to  pace  the  streets,  and  on 
several  occasions  fell  in  with  him,  but  always  found 
him  attended  by  too  many  followers  of  one  kind  or 
another  for  their  purpose.  At  last,  on  Sunday,  the 
13th  of  March,  1835,  Kureem  heard  that  Mr.  Fraser 
was  to  attend  a  natch  (dance)  given  by  Hindoo  Rao, 
the  brother  of  the  Byza  Bae,  who  then  resided  at 
Delhi ;  and  determining  to  try  whether  he  could  not 
shoot  him  from  horseback,  he  sent  away  his  groom 
as  soon  as  he  had  ascertained  that  Mr.  Fraser  was 


actually  at  the  dance.  Uneea  went  in  and  mixed 
among  the  assembly;  and  as  soon  as  he  saw  Mr. 
Fraser  rise  to  depart,  he  gave  intimation  to  Kureem, 
who  ordered  him  to  keep  behind,  and  make  off  as 
fast  as  he  could,  as  soon  as  he  should  hear  the  report 
of  his  gun. 

A  little  way  from  Hindoo  Rao's  house  the  road 
branches  off;  that  to  the  left  is  straight,  while 
that  to  the  right  is  circuitous.  Mr.  Fraser  was  known 
always  to  take  the  straight  road,  and  upon  that 
Kureem  posted  himself,  as  the  road  up  to  the  place 
where  it  branched  off  was  too  public  for  his  purpose. 
As  it  happened,  Mr.  Fraser,  for  the  first  time,  took 
the  circuitous  road  to  the  right,  and  reached  his 
home  without  meeting  Kureem !  Uneea  placed 
himself  at  the  cross  way,  and  waited  there  till  Kureem 
came  up  to  him.  On  hearing  that  he  had  taken  the 
right  road,  Kureem  said,  "  that  a  man  in  Mr.  Fraser's 
situation  must  be  a  strange  (Kafir)  unbeliever  not  to 
have  such  a  thing  as  a  torch  with  him  in  a  dark  night. 
Had  he  had  what  he  ought,"  he  said,  "  I  should  not 
have  lost  him  this  time !" 

They  passed  him  on  the  road  somewhere  or  other 
almost  every  afternoon  after  this  for  seven  days ; 
but  could  never  fall  in  with  him  after  dark.  On  the 
eighth  day,  Sunday,  the  22nd  of  March,  Kureem 
went  as  usual,  in  the  forenoon,  to  the  great  Mosque, 
to  say  his  prayers ;  and  on  his  way  back  in  the  after- 
noon, he  purchased  some  plums,  which  he  was  eating 
when  he  came  up  to  Uneea,  whom  he  found  cooking 

MURDER    OF    MR.    FRASER.  221 

his  dinner.  He  ordered  his  horse  to  be  saddled  im- 
mediately; and  told  Uneea  to  make  haste  and  eat 
his  dinner,  as  he  had  seen  Mr.  Fraser  at  a  party  given 
by  the  Rajah  of  Kishengurh.  "  When  his  time  is  come,'' 
said  Kureem,  "  we  shall  no  doubt  find  an  opportunity 
to  kill  him,  if  we  watch  him  carefully."  They  left 
the  groom  at  home  that  evening,  and  proceeded  to 
the  Durgah  (church)  near  the  canal.  Seeing  Uneea 
with  merely  a  stick  in  his  hand,  Kureem  bid  him  go 
back  and  change  it  for  a  sword,  while  he  went  in  and 
said  his  evening  prayers. 

On  being  rejoined  by  Uneea,  they  took  the  road  to 
cantonments,  which  passed  by  Mr.  Fraser's  house ; 
and  Uneea  observed,  "  that  the  risk  was  hardly  equal 
in  this  undertaking,  he  being  on  foot,  while  Kureem 
was  on  horseback :  that  he  should  be  sure  to  be 
taken,  while  the  other  might  have  a  fair  chance  of 
escape."  It  was  now  quite  dark,  and  Kureem  bid 
him  stand  by  sword  in  hand ;  and  if  any  body  at- 
tempted to  seize  his  horse  when  he  fired,  cut  him 
down,  and  be  assured,  that  while  he  had  life  he 
would  never  suffer  him,  Uneea,  to  be  taken.  Kureem 
continued  to  patrole  up  and  down  on  the  high  road, 
that  noboby  might  notice  him,  while  Uneea  stood  by 
the  road  side.  At  last,  about  eleven  o'clock,  they 
heard  Mr.  Fraser  approach,  attended  by  one  trooper, 
and  two  Peons,  on  foot;  and  Kureem  walked  his 
horse  slowly,  as  if  he  had  been  going  from  the  city 
to  the  cantonments,  till  Mr.  Fraser  came  up  within 
a  few  paces  of  him,  near  the  gate  leading  into  his 


house.  Kureem  Khan,  on  leaving  his  house,  had  put 
one  large  ball  into  his  short  blunderbuss ;  and  when 
confident  that  he  should  now  have  an  opportunity  of 
shooting  Mr.  Fraser,  he  put  in  two  more  small  ones. 
As  Mr.  Eraser's  horse  was  coming  up  on  the  left 
side,  Kureem  Khan  turned  round  his;  and  as  he 
passed  by,  presented  his  blunderbuss — fired — and  all 
three  balls  passed  into  Mr.  Fraser's  breast.  All  three 
horses  reared  at  the  report  and  flash — and  Mr.  Fraser 
fell  dead  on  the  ground.  Kureem  galloped  off,  followed 
a  short  distance  by  the  trooper,  and  the  two  Peons 
went  off  and  gave  information  to  Major  Pew  and 
Cornet  Robinson,  who  resided  near  the  place.  They 
came  in  all  haste  to  the  spot,  and  had  the  body  taken 
to  the  deceased's  own  house ;  but  no  signs  of  life  re- 
mained. They  reported  the  murder  to  the  magis- 
trate, and  the  city  gates  were  closed,  as  the  assassin 
had  been  seen  to  enter  the  city  by  the  trooper. 

Uneea  ran  home  through  the  Cabul  gate  of  the 
city,  unperceived,  while  Kureem  entered  by  the 
Ajmere  gate,  and  passed  first  through  the  encamp- 
ment of  Hindoo  Rao,  to  efface  the  traces  of  his 
horse's  feet.  When  he  reached  their  lodgings,  he 
found  Uneea  there  before  him;  and  Roopla,  the 
groom,  seeing  his  horse  in  a  sweat,  told  him  that  he 
had  had  a  narrow  escape — that  Mr.  Fraser  had  been 
killed,  and  orders  given  for  the  arrest  of  any  horse- 
man that  might  be  found  in  or  near  the  city.  He 
told  him  to  hold  his  tongue,  and  take  care  of  the 
horse ;  and  calling  for  a  light,  he  and  Uneea  tore  up 

MURDER   OF    MR.    FRASER.  228 

every  letter  he  had  received  from  Ferozepore,  and 
dipped  the  fragments  in  water,  to  efface  the  ink  from 
them.  Uneea  asked  him  what  he  had  done  with  the 
blunderbuss,  and  was  told  that  it  had  been  thrown 
into  a  well.  Uneea  now  concealed  three  flints  that 
he  kept  about  him  in  some  sand  in  the  upper  story 
they  occupied,  and  threw  an  iron  ramrod,  and  two 
spare  bullets,  into  a  well,  near  the  mosque. 

The  next  morning,  when  he  heard  that  the  city 
gates  had  been  all  shut  to  prevent  any  one  from  going 
out  till  strict  search  should  be  made,  Kureem  became 
a  good  deal  alarmed,  and  went  to  seek  council  from 
Mogul  Beg,  the  friend  of  his  master ;  but  when  in 
the  evening  he  heard  that  they  had  been  again 
opened,  he  recovered  his  spirits ;  and  the  next  day 
he  wrote  a  letter  to  the  Nawab,  saying  that  he  had 
purchased  the  dogs  that  he  wanted,  and  would  soon 
return  with  them.  He  then  went  to  Mr.  M'Pherson, 
and  actually  purchased  from  him,  for  the  Nawab, 
some  dogs  and  pictures  ;  and  the  following  day  sent 
Roopla,  the  groom,  with  them  to  Ferozepore,  ac- 
companied by  two  bearers.  A  pilgrim  lodged  in  the 
same  place  with  these  men,  and  was  present  when 
Kureem  came  home  from  the  murder,  and  gave  his 
horse  to  Roopla.  In  the  evening,  after  the  depar- 
ture of  Roopla  with  the  dogs,  four  men  of  the  Goojur 
caste  came  to  the  place,  and  Kureem  sat  down  and 
smoked  a  pipe  with  one  of  them,  who  said  that  he 
had  lost  his  bread  by  Mr.  Fraser's  death,  and  should 
be  glad  to  see  the  murderer  punished — that  he  was 



known  to  have  worn  a  green  vest,  and  he  hoped  he 
would  soon  be  discovered.  The  pilgrim  came  up  to 
Kureem  shortly  after  these  four  men  went  away ; 
and  said  that  he  had  heard  from  some  one,  that  he, 
Kureem,  was  himself  suspected  of  the  murder.  He 
went  again  to  Mogul  Beg,  who  told  him  not  to  be 
alarmed,  that,  happily,  the  Regulations  were  now  in 
force  in  the  Delhi  territory,  and  that  he  had  only  to 
stick  steadily  to  one  story  to  be  safe ! 

He  now  desired  Uneea  to  return  to  Ferozepore 
with  a  letter  to  the  Nawab,  and  to  assure  him  that 
he  would  be  staunch  and  stick  to  one  story,  though 
they  should  seize  him  and  confine  him  in  prison  for 
twelve  years.  "  He  had,"  he  said,  "  already  sent  off 
part  of  his  clothes,  and  Uneea  should  now  take  away 
the  rest,  so  that  nothing  suspicious  should  be  left 
near  him. 

The  next  morning  Uneea  set  out  on  foot,  accom- 
panied by  IslamooUah,  a  servant  of  Mogul  Beg's,  who 
was  also  the  bearer  of  a  letter  to  the  Nawab.  They 
hired  two  ponies  when  they  became  tired,  but  both 
flagged  before  they  reached  Nugeena,  whence  Uneea 
proceeded  to  Ferozepore  on  a  mare  belonging  to  the 
native  collector,  leaving  IslamooUah  behind.  He 
gave  his  letter  to  the  Nawab,  who  desired  him  to 
describe  the  affair  of  the  murder.  He  did  so.  The 
Nawab  seemed  very  much  pleased ;  and  asked  whe- 
ther Kureem  appeared  to  be  in  any  alarm.  Uneea 
told  him  that  he  did  not ;  and  had  resolved  to  stick 
to  one  story,  though  he  should  be  imprisoned  for 

MURDER    OF    MR.    ERASER.  225 

twelve  years.  "  Kureem  Khan,"  said  the  Nawab, 
turning  to  the  brother-in-law  of  the  former,  Wasil 
Khan,  and  Hussun  Alee,  who  stood  near  him — 
"  Kureem  Khan  is  a  very  brave  man,  whose  courage 
may  be  always  relied  on !"  He  gave  Uneea  eighteen 
rupees ;  and  told  him  to  change  his  name,  and  keep 
close  to  Wasil  Khan.  They  retired  together ;  but 
while  Wasil  Khan  went  to  his  house,  Uneea  stood  on 
the  road  unperceived,  but  near  enough  to  hear  Hussun 
Alee  urge  the  Nawab  to  have  him  put  to  death  imme- 
ately,  as  the  only  chance  of  keeping  the  fatal  secret. 
He  went  off  immediately  to  Wasil  Khan,  and  pre- 
vailed upon  him  to  give  him  leave  to  go  home  for 
that  night  to  see  his  family,  promising  to  be  back  the 
next  morning  early. 

He  set  out  forthwith ;  but  had  not  been  long  at 
home  when  he  learned  that  Hussun  Alee,  and  ano- 
ther confidential  servant  of  the  Nawab,  were  come 
in  search  of  him  with  some  troopers.  He  concealed 
himself  in  the  roof  of  his  house,  and  heard  them  ask 
his  wife  and  children  where  he  was,  saying  they 
wanted  his  aid  in  getting  out  some  hyenas  they  had 
traced  into  their  dens  in  the  neighbourhood.  They 
were  told  that  he  had  gone  back  to  Ferozepore,  and 
returned ;  but  were  sent  back  by  the  Nawab  to  make 
a  more  careful  search  for  him.  Before  they  came, 
however,  he  had  gone  off  to  his  friends  Kumuroodeen 
and  Johuree,  two  brothers  who  resided  in  the  Rao 
Rajah's  territory.  To  this  place  he  was  followed  by 
some  Mehwaties,  whom   the    Nawab   had  induced, 

VOL.    II.  Q 


under  the  promise  of  a  large  reward,  to  undertake  to 
kill  him.     One  night  he  went  to  two  acquaintances, 
Mukram  and  Shahamut,  in  a  neighbouring  village, 
and  begged  them  to  send  to  some  English  gentleman 
at  Delhi,   and  solicit  for  him  a  pardon,  on  condition 
of  his  disclosing  all  the  circumstances  of  Mr.  Fraser's 
murder.     They  promised  to  get  everything  done  for 
him  through  a  friend  in  the  police  at  Delhi,  and  set 
out  for  that  purpose,  while  Uneea  returned  and  con- 
cealed himself  in  the  hills.     In  six  days  they  came 
with  a  paper,  purporting  to  be  a  promise  of  pardon, 
from  the  court  of  Delhi,  and  desired  Kumurooden 
to  introduce  them  to  Uneea.     He  told  them  to  re- 
turn to  him  in  three  days,  and  he  would  do  so ;  but 
he  went  off  to  Uneea  in  the  hills,  and  told  him  that 
he  did  not  think  these  men  had  really  got  the  papers 
from  the  English  gentlemen — that  they  appeared  to 
him  to  be  in  the  service  of  the  Nawab  himself! 
Uneea  was,  however,  introduced  to  them  when  they 
came  back,  and  requested  that  the  paper  might  be 
read  to  him.     Seeing  through  their  designs,  he  again 
made  off  to  the  hills,  while  they  went  out  in  search, 
as  they  pretended,  of  a  man  to  read  it,  but,  in  reality, 
to  get  some  people  who  were  waiting  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood to  assist  in  securing  him,  and  taking  him 
off  to  the  Nawab. 

Finding,  on  their  return,  that  Uneea  had  escaped, 
they  offered  high  rewards  to  the  two  brothers  if  they 
would  assist  in  tracing  him  out ;  and  Johuree  was 
taken  to  the  Nawab,  who  offered  him  a  very  high  re- 

MURDER    OF    MR.    FRASER.  227 

ward  if  he  would  bring  Uneea  to  him,  or  at  least 
take  measures  to  prevent  his  going  to  the  English 
gentlemen.  This  was  communicated  to  Uneea,  who 
went  through  Bhurtpore  to  Bareilly,  and  from 
Bareilly  to  Secundrabad,  where  he  heard,  in  the  be- 
ginning of  July,  that  both  Kureem  and  the  Nawab 
were  to  be  tried  for  the  murder ;  and  that  the  judge, 
Mr.  Colvin,  had  already  arrived  at  Delhi  to  conduct 
the  trial.  He  now  determined  to  go  to  Delhi  and 
give  himself  up.  On  his  way  he  was  met  by  Mr. 
Simon  Eraser's  man,  who  took  him  to  Delhi,  where 
he  confessed  his  share  in  the  crime,  became  king's 
evidence  at  the  trial,  and  gave  an  interesting  narra- 
tive of  the  whole  affair. 

Two  water  carriers,  in  attempting  to  draw  up  the 
brass  jug  of  a  carpenter,  which  had  fallen  into  the 
well  the  morning  after  the  murder,  pulled  up  the 
blunderbuss  which  Kureem  Khan  had  thrown  into 
the  same  well.  This  was  afterwards  recognised  by 
Uneea,  and  the  man  whom  he  pointed  out  as  having 
made  it  for  him.  Two  of  the  four  Goojurs,  who 
were  mentioned  as  having  visited  Kureem  imme- 
diately after  the  murder,  went  to  Brigadier  Fast, 
who  commanded  the  troops  at  Delhi,  fearing  that  the 
native  officers  of  the  European  civil  functionaries 
might  be  in  the  interest  of  the  Nawab,  and  got  them 
made  away  with.  They  told  him  that  Kureem  Khan 
seemed  to  answer  the  description  of  the  man  named 
in  the  proclamation  as  the  murderer  of  Mr.  Eraser ; 
and  he  sent  them  with  a  note   to  the  commissioner 

Q  2 


Mr.  Metcalfe,  who  sent  them  to  the  magistrate,  Mr. 
Fraser,  who  accompanied  them  to  the  place  and  se- 
cured Kureem,  with  some  fragments  of  important 
papers.  The  two  Mahwaties,  who  had  been  sent  to  as- 
sassinate Uneea,  were  found,  and  they  confessed  the 
fact:  the  brother  of  Uneea,  Rahmut,  was  found,  and  he 
described  the  difficulty  Uneea  had  to  escape  from  the 
Nawab's  people  sent  to  murder  him.  Roopla,  the 
groom,  deposed  to  all  that  he  had  seen  during  the  time 
he  was  employed  as  Kureem's  groom  at  Delhi.  Se- 
veral men  deposed  to  having  met  Kureem,  and  heard 
him  asking  after  Mr.  Fraser  a  few  days  before  the 
murder.  The  two  peons  who  were  with  Mr.  Fraser 
when  he  was  shot,  deposed  to  the  horse  which  he 
rode  at  the  time,  and  which  was  found  with  him. 

Kureem  Khan  and  the  Nawab  were  both  con- 
victed of  the  crime,  sentenced  to  death,  and  executed 
at  Delhi.  I  should  mention  that  suspicion  had  im- 
mediately attached  to  Kureem  Khan ;  he  was  known 
for  some  time  to  have  been  lurking  about  Delhi,  on 
the  pretence  of  purchasing  dogs  ;  and  it  was  said  that 
had  the  Nawab  really  wanted  dogs,  he  would  not 
have  sent  to  purchase  them  by  a  man  whom  he  ad- 
mitted to  his  table,  and  treated  on  terms  of  equality. 
He  was  suspected  of  having  been  employed  on  such 
occasions  before — known  to  be  a  good  shot,  and  a  good 
rider,  who  could  fire  and  reload  very  quickly  while 
his  horse  was  in  full  gallop,  and  called  in  conse- 
quence the  Bharmaroo.  His  horse,  which  was  found 
in  the  stable  by  the  Goojur  spies,  who  had  before 


been  in  Mr.  Eraser's  service,  answered  the  descrip- 
tion given  of  the  murderer's  horse  by  Mr.  Eraser's 
attendants;  and  the  Nawab  was  known  to  cherish 
feelings  of  bitter  hatred  against  Mr.  Fraser. 

The  Nawab  was  executed  some  time  after  Kureem, 
on  Thursday  morning,  the  3rd  of  October,  1835, 
close  outside  the  north,  or  Cashmere  Gate,  leading 
to  the  cantonments.  He  prepared  himself  for  the 
execution  in  an  extremely  rich  and  beautiful  dress 
of  light  green,  the  colours  which  martyrs  wear ;  but 
he  was  made  to  exchange  this,  and  he  then  chose 
one  of  simple  white,  and  was  too  conscious  of  his 
guilt  to  urge  strongly  his  claim  to  wear  what  dress 
he  liked  on  such  an  occasion. 

The  following  corps  were  drawn  up  around  the 
gallows,  forming  three  sides  of  a  square :  the  first 
regiment  of  cavalry,  the  twentieth,  thirty-ninth,  and 
sixty-ninth    regiments    of   native    infantry;    Major 
Pew's  light  field  battery,  and  a  strong  party  of  police. 
On  ascending  the   scaffold,  the  Nawab  manifested 
symptoms  of  disgust  at  the  approach  to  his  person  of 
the  sweeper,  who  was  to  put  the  rope  round  his  neck ; 
but  he  soon  mastered  his  feelings,  and  submitted 
with  a  good  grace  to  his  fate.     Just  as  he  expired 
his  body  made  a  last  turn,   and  left  his  face  towards 
the  west,  or  the  tomb  of  his  prophet,  which  the  Ma- 
homedans  of  Delhi  considered  a  miracle,  indicating 
that  he  was  a  martyr — not  as  being  innocent  of  the 
murder,  but  as  being  executed  for  the  murder  of  an 
unbeliever !     Pilgrimages  were  for  some  time  made 


to  the  Nawab's  tomb ;  but  I  believe  they  have  long 
since  ceased  with  the  short  gleam  of  sympathy  that 
his  fate  excited.     The  only  people  that  still  recollect 
him  with  feelings  of  kindness  are  the   prostitutes 
and   dancing  women  of  the  city  of  Delhi,  among 
whom  most  of  his  revenues  were  squandered.     In 
the  same  manner  was  Wuzeer  Alee  recollected  for 
many  years  by  the  prostitutes  and  dancing  women  of 
Benares,  after  the  massacre  of  Mr.  Cherry  and  all 
the  European  gentlemen  of  that  station,  save  one, 
Mr.  Davis,  who  bravely  defended  himself,  wife,  and 
children,  against  a  host,  with  a  hog  spear,  on  the  top 
of    his   house.     No   European   could  pass   Benares 
for  twenty  years  after  Wuzeer  Alee's  arrest  and  con- 
finement in  the  garrison  of  Fort  William,  without 
hearing  from  the  windows  songs  in  his  praise,  and  in 
praise  of  the  massacre. 

It  is  supposed  that  the  Nawab,  Tyz  Mahomed 
Khan,  of  Ghujper,  was  deeply  implicated  in  this 
murder,  though  no  proof  of  it  could  be  found.  He 
died  soon  after  the  execution  of  Shumshoodeen  ;  and 
was  succeeded  in  his  fief  by  his  eldest  son,  Tyz  Alee 
Khan.  This  fief  was  bestowed  on  the  father  of  the 
deceased,  whose  name  was  Nijabut  Alee  Khan,  by 
Lord  Lake,  on  the  termination  of  the  war  in  1805, 
for  the  aid  he  had  given  to  the  retreating  army  under 
Colonel  Monson. 

One  circumstance  attending  the  execution  of  the 
Nawab  Shumshoodeen,  seems  w^orthy  of  remark.  The 
magistrate,    Mr.  Frascott,   desired  his  crier   to   go 


through  the  city  the  evening  before  the  execution, 
and  proclaim  to  the  people,  that  those  who  might 
wish  to  be  present  at  the  execution  were  not  to  en- 
croach upon  the  line  of  sentries  that  would  be  formed 
to  keep  clear  an  allotted  space  round  the  gallows — 
nor  to  carry  with  them  any  kind  of  arms ;  but  the 
crier,  seemingly  retaining  in  his  recollection  only  the 
words  arms  and  sentries,  gave  out,  after  his  0  yes, 
0  yes,  that  the  sentries  had  orders  to  use  their  arms, 
and  shoot  any  man,  woman,  or  child  that  should  pre- 
sume to  go  outside  the  wall  to  look  at  the  execution 
of  the  Nawab !  No  person,  in  consequence,  ventured 
out  till  the  execution  was  over,  when  they  went  to 
see  the  Nawab  himself  converted  into  smoke ;  as  the 
general  impression  was,  that  as  life  should  leave  it, 
the  body  was  to  be  blown  off  into  the  air  by  a  general 
discharge  of  musketry  and  artillery!  Mogul  Beg 
was  acquitted  for  want  of  judicial  proof  of  his  guilty 
participation  in  the  crime. 



MARRIAGE    OF    A    JAT     CHIEF. 

On  the  19th,  we  came  on  to  Balumgur,  fifteen 
miles  over  a  plain,  better  cultivated  and  more  studded 
with  trees  than  that  which  we  had  been  coming  over 
for  many  days  before.  The  water  was  nearer  the 
surface — more  of  the  fields  were  irrigated ;  and  those 
which  were  not  so,  looked  better;  range  of  sand- 
stone hills,  ten  miles  off  to  the  west,  running  north 
and  south.  Bulumgur  is  held  in  rent-free  tenure, 
by  a  young  Jat  chief,  now  about  ten  years  of  age. 
He  resides  in  a  mud  fort,  in  a  handsome  palace 
built  in  the  European  fashion.  In  an  extensive 
orange  garden,  close  outside  the  fort,  he  is  building 
a  very  handsome  tomb  over  the  spot  where  his 
father's  elder  brother  was  buried.  The  whole  is 
formed  of  white  and  black  marble,  and  the  fine  white 
sandstone  of  Roopbass,  and  so  well  conceived  and 
executed  as  to  make  it  evident,  that  demand  is  the 
only  thing  wanting  to  cover  India  with  works  of  art 
equal  to  any  that  were  formed  in  the  palmy  days  of 

SEIKHS   AND   JATS.  233 

the  Mahomedan  empire.  The  Rajah's  young  sister 
had  just  been  married  to  the  son  of  the  Jat  chief  of 
Naba,  who  was  accompanied  in  his  matrimonial  visit 
(berat)  by  the  chief  of  Ludora,  and  the  son  of  the 
Seikh  chief  of  Puteeaiee,  with  a  cortege  of  one  hun- 
dred elephants,  and  above  fifteen  thousand  people.* 

*  The  Seikh  is  a  military  nation  formed  out  of  the  Jdts,  (who 
were  without  a  place  among  the  castes  of  the  Hindoos,)  by 
that  strong  bond  of  union,  the  love  of  conquest  and  plunder. 
Their  religious  and  civil  codes  are  the  Goorunts,  books  written 
by  their  reputed  prophets,  the  last  of  whom  was  Gooroo  Govind, 
in  whose  name  Runjeet  Sing  stamps  his  gold  coins  with  this 
legend.  "  The  sword,  the  pot  victory,  and  conquest,  were  quickly 
found  in  the  grace  of  Gooroo  Govind  Sing."  This  prophet  died 
insane  in  the  end  of  the  seventeenth  century.  He  was  the  son 
of  a  priest,  Teg  Bahadur,  who  was  made  a  martyr  of  by  the 
bigoted  Mahomedans  of  Patna,  in  1675.  The  son  became  a 
Peter  the  hermit,  in  the  same  manner  as  Hergovind  before  him, 
when  his  father,  the  prophet  Arjunmul,  was  made  a  martyr  by 
the  fanaticism  of  the  same  people.  A  few  more  such  martyrdoms 
would  have  set  the  Seikhs  up  for  ever.  They  admit  converts 
freely,  and  while  they  have  a  fair  prospect  of  conquest  and  plun- 
der they  will  find  them ;  but  when  they  cease  they  will  be 
swallowed  up  in  the  great  ocean  of  Hindooism,  since  they  have 
no  chance  of  getting  up  "  an  army  of  martyrs"  while  we  have 
the  supreme  power.  They  detest  us  for  the  same  reason  that 
the  military  followers  of  the  other  native  chiefs  detest  us,  because 
we  say,  "  thus  far  shall  you  go  and  no  farther,"  in  your  career  of 
conquest  and  plunder.  As  governors,  they  are  even  worse  than 
the  Mahrattas — utterly  detestable.  They  have  not  the  slightest 
idea  of  a  duty  towards  the  people  from  whose  industry  they  are 
provided.  Such  a  thing  was  never  dreamed  of  by  a  Seikh.  They 
continue  to  receive  in  marriage  the  daughters  of  Jats,  as  in  this 
case  ;  but  they  will  not  give  their  daughters  in  marriage  to 


The  young  chief  of  Balumgur  mustered  a  cortege  of 
sixty  elephants,  and  about  ten  thousand  men,  to 
attend  him  out  in  the  Istaekbal,^  to  meet  and  welcome 
his  guests.  The  bridegroom's  party  had  to  expend 
about  six  hundred  thousand  rupees  in  this  visit  alone. 
They  scattered  copper  money  all  along  the  road 
from  their  homes  to  within  seven  miles  of  Balumgur. 
From  this  point  to  the  gate  of  the  fort  they  had  to 
scatter  silver ;  and  from  this  gate  to  the  door  of  the 
palace  they  scattered  gold  and  jewels  of  all  kinds. 
The  son  of  the  Puteealee  chief,  a  lad  of  about  ten 
years  of  age,  sat  upon  his  elephant  with  a  bag  con- 
taining six  hundred  gold  mohurs,  of  two  guineas  each, 
mixed  up  with  an  infinite  variety  of  gold  earrings, 
pearls,  and  precious  stones,  which  he  scattered  in 
handfuls  among  the  crowd.  The  scattering  of  the 
copper  and  silver  had  been  left  to  inferior  hands. 
The  costs  of  the  family  of  the  bride  are  always  much 
greater  than  that  of  the  bridegroom.  They  are 
obliged  to  entertain,  at  their  own  expense,  all  the 
bridegroom's  guests  as  well  as  their  own,  as  long  as 
they  remain ;  and  over  and  above  this,  on  the  present 
occasion,  the  Rajah  gave  a  rupee  to  every  person 
that  came,  invited  or  uninvited.  An  immense  con- 
course of  people  had  assembled  to  share  in  this  dona- 
tion, and  to  scramble  for  the  money  scattered  along 
the  road ;  and  ready  money  enough  was  not  found  in 
the  treasury.  Before  a  further  supply  could  be  got, 
thirty  thousand  more  had  collected,  and  every  one 
got  his   rupee.     They  have  them  all  put  into  pens 

JAT    MARRIAGE.  236 

like  sheep.  When  all  are  in,  the  doors  are  opened 
at  a  signal  given,  and  every  person  is  paid  his  rupee 
as  he  goes  out.  Some  European  gentlemen  were 
standing  upon  the  top  of  the  Rajah's  palace,  looking 
at  the  procession  as  it  entered  the  fort,  and  passed 
underneath ;  and  the  young  chief  threw  up  some 
handfuls  of  pearls,  gold,  and  jewels  among  them. 
Not  one  of  them  would  of  course  condescend  to  stoop 
to  take  up  any ;  but  their  servants  showed  none  of 
the  same  dignified  forbearance. 




On  the  20th,  we  came  to  Budderpore,  twelve 
miles  over  a  plain,  with  the  range  of  hills  on  our  left 
approaching  nearer  and  nearer  the  road,  and  sepa- 
rating us  from  the  old  city  of  Delhi.  We  passed 
through  Tureedpore,  once  a  large  town,  and  called 
after  its  founder,  Sheikh  Turreed,  whose  mosque  is 
still  in  good  order,  though  there  is  no  person  to  read 
or  hear  prayers  in  it.  We  passed  also  two  fine 
bridges,  one  of  three  and  one  of  four  arches,  both 
over  what  were  once  streams,  but  are  now  dry  beds 
of  sand.  The  whole  road  shows  signs  of  having 
been  once  thickly  peopled,  and  highly  adorned  with 
useful  and  ornamental  works  when  Delhi  was  in  its 
glory.  Every  handsome  mausoleum  among  Maho- 
medans  was  provided  with  its  mosque,  and  endowed 
by  the  founder  with  the  means  of  maintaining  men 
of  learning,  to  read  their  Koran  over  the   grave  of 


the  deceased  and  in  his  chapel ;  and  as  long  as  the 
endowment  lasted,  the  tomb  continued  to  be  at  the 
same  time  a  college.  They  read  the  Quoran  morning 
and  evening  over  the  grave,  and  prayers  in  the 
chapel  at  the  stated  periods ;  and  the  rest  of  their 
time  is  commonly  devoted  to  the  instruction  of  the 
youths  of  their  neighbourhood,  either  gratis  or  for  a 
small  consideration.  Apartments  in  the  tomb  were 
usually  set  aside  for  the  purpose ;  and  these  tombs 
did  ten  times  more  for  education  in  Hindoostan, 
than  all  the  colleges  formed  especially  for  the  pur- 
pose. We  might  suppose,  that  rulers  who  formed 
and  endowed  such  works  all  over  the  land,  must 
have  had  more  of  the  respect  and  the  affections  of 
the  great  mass  of  the  people  than  we,  who,  as  my 
friend  upon  the  Jumna  has  it,  "  build  nothing  but 
private  dwelling-houses,  factories,  courts  of  justice, 
and  jails,"  can  ever  have ;  but  this  conclusion  would 
not  be  altogether  just.  Though  every  mosque  and 
mausoleum  was  a  seat  of  learning,  that  learning, 
instead  of  being  a  source  of  attraction  and  concili- 
ation between  the  Mahomedans  and  Hindoos,  was, 
on  the  contrary,  a  source  of  perpetual  repulsion  and 
discord  between  them — it  tended  to  keep  alive  in 
the  breasts  of  the  Mussulmans  a  strong  feeling  of 
religious  indignation  against  the  worshippers  of  idols ; 
and  of  dread  and  hatred  in  those  of  the  Hindoos. 
The  Quoran  was  the  book  of  books,  spoken  by  God  to 
the  angel  Gabriel,  in  parts  as  occasion  required,  and 
repeated  by  him  to  Mahomed ;  who,  unable  to  write 


himself,  dictated  them  to  any  one  who  happened  to 
be  present  when  he  received  the  divine  communi- 
cations ;*  it  contained  all  that  it  was  worth  man's 
while  to  study  or  know — it  was  from  the  Deity,  but 
at  the  same  time  coeternal  with  him — it  was  his 
divine  eternal  spirit,  inseparable  from  him  from  the 
beginning,  and,  therefore,  like  him,  uncreated.  This 
book,  to  read  which  was  of  itself  declared  to  be  the 
highest  of  all  species  of  worship,  taught  war  against 
the  worshippers  of  idols,  to  be  of  all  merits  the  great- 
est in  the  eye  of  God ;  and  no  man  could  well  rise 
from  the  perusal  without  the  wish  to  serve  God  by 
some  act  of  outrage  against  them.  These  buildings 
were,  therefore,  looked  upon  by  the  Hindoos,  who 
composed  the  great  mass  of  the  people,  as  a  kind  of 
religious  volcanos,  always  ready  to  explode,  and 
pour  out  their  lava  of  intolerance  and  outrage  upon 
the  innocent  people  of  the  surrounding  country. 

If  a  Hindoo  fancied  himself  injured  or  insulted  by 
a  Mahomedan,  he  was  apt  to  revenge  himself  upon 
the  Mahomedans  generally,  and  insult  their  religion 

*  Mahomed  is  said  to  have  received  these  communications  in 
all  situations  ;  sometimes  while  riding  along  the  road  on  his  camel, 
he  became  suddenly  red  in  the  face,  and  greatly  agitated ;  he 
made  his  camel  sit  down  immediately,  and  called  for  some  one  to 
write.  His  rhapsodies  were  all  written  at  the  time  on  leaves  and 
thrown  into  a  box.  Gabriel  is  believed  to  have  made  him  repeat 
over  the  whole  once  every  year  during  the  month  of  Ramzan.  On 
the  year  he  died,  Mahomed  told  his  followers,  that  the  angel  had 
made  him  repeat  them  over  twice  that  year,  and  that  he  was 
sure  he  would  not  live  to  receive  another  visit ! 


by  throwing  swine's  flesh,  or  swine's  blood,  into  one  of 
their  tombs  or  churches  ;  and  the  latter  either  flew 
to  arms  at  once  to  avenge  their  God,  or  retaliated  by 
throwing  the  flesh  or  the  blood  of  the  cow  into  the  first 
Hindoo  temple  at  hand,  which  made  the  Hindoos 
fly  to  arms.  The  guilty  and  the  wicked  commonly 
escaped,  while  numbers  of  the  weak,  the  innocent, 
and  the  unoffending  were  slaughtered.  The  magni- 
ficent buildings,  therefore,  instead  of  being  at  the 
time  bonds  of  union,  were  commonly  sources  of  the 
greatest  discord  among  the  whole  community,  and  of 
the  most  painful  humiliation  to  the  Hindoo  popula- 
tion. During  the  bigoted  reign  of  Ourungzebe  and 
his  successors,  a  Hindoo's  presence  was  hardly  tole- 
rated within  sight  of  these  tombs  or  churches ;  and 
had  he  been  discovered  entering  one  of  them,  he 
would  probably  have  been  hunted  down  like  a  mad 
dog.  The  recollection  of  such  outrages,  and  the  humi- 
liations to  which  they  gave  rise,  associated  as  they 
always  are  in  the  minds  of  the  Hindoos  with  the 
sight  of  these  buildings,  are  perhaps  the  greatest 
source  of  our  strength  in  India ;  because  they  at  the 
same  time  feel,  that  it  is  to  us  alone  they  owe  the 
protection  which  they  now  enjoy  from  similar  in- 
juries. Many  of  my  countrymen,  full  of  virtuous 
indignation  at  the  outrages  which  often  occur 
during  the  processions  of  the  Mohorum,  particularly 
when  these  happen  to  take  place  at  the  same  time 
with  some  religious  procession  of  the  Hindoos,  are 
very  anxious  that  our  government  should  interpose 



its  authority  to  put  down  botli.  But  these  proces- 
sions and  occasional  outrages  are  really  sources  of 
great  strength  to  us ;  they  show  at  once  the  neces- 
sity for  the  interposition  of  an  impartial  tribunal, 
and  a  disposition  on  the  part  of  the  rulers  to  inter- 
pose impartially.  The  Mahomedan  festivals  are  re- 
gulated by  the  lunar,  and  those  of  the  Hindoos  by 
the  solar  year;  and  they  cross  each  other  every 
thirty  or  forty  years,  and  furnish  fair  occasions  for 
the  local  authorities  to  interpose  effectually.  People 
who  receive  or  imagine  insults  or  injuries,  commonly 
postpone  their  revenge  till  these  religious  festivals 
come  round,  when  they  hope  to  be  able  to  settle 
their  accounts  with  impunity  among  the  excited 
crowd.  The  mournful  procession  of  the  Mohurum, 
when  the  Mahomedans  are  inflamed  to  madness  by 
the  recollection  of  the  really  affecting  incidents  of  the 
massacre  of  the  grandchildren  of  their  prophet,  and 
by  the  images  of  their  tombs,  and  their  sombre  music, 
crosses  that  of  the  Hoolee,  in  which  the  Hindoos  are 
excited  to  tumultuous  and  licentious  joy  by  their  bac- 
chanalian songs  and  dances  every  thirty-six  years  ;  and 
they  reign  together  for  some  four  or  ^Ye  days,  during 
which  the  scene,  in  every  large  town,  is  really  terrific. 
The  processions  are  liable  to  meet  in  the  street,  and 
the  lees  of  the  wine  of  the  Hindoos,  or  the  red 
powder  which  is  substituted  for  them,  is  liable  to  fall 
upon  the  tombs  of  the  others.  Hindoos  pass  on, 
forgetting  in  their  saturnalian  joy,  all  distinctions 
of  age,  sex,    or  religion,  their  clothes  and  persons 


besmeared  with  the  red  powder,  which  is  moistened 
and  thrown  from  all  kinds  of  machines  over  friend 
and  foe ;  while  meeting  these  come  the  Mahomedans, 
clothed  in  their  green  mourning,  with  gloomy  down- 
cast looks,  beating  their  breasts,  ready  to  kill  them- 
selves, and  too  anxious  for  an  excuse  to  kill  anybody 
else.  Let  but  one  drop  of  the  lees  of  joy  fall  upon 
the  image  of  the  tomb  as  it  passes,  and  a  hundred 
swords  fly  from  their  scabbards  ;  many  an  innocent 
person  falls ;  and  woe  be  to  the  town  in  which  the 
magistrate  is  not  at  hand  with  his  police  and  military 
force.  Proudly  conscious  of  their  power,  the  magis- 
trates refuse  to  prohibit  one  class  from  laughing 
because  the  other  happens  to  be  weeping ;  and  the 
Hindoos,  on  such  occasions,  laugh  the  more  heartily 
to  let  the  world  see  that  they  are  free  to  do  so. 

A  very  learned  Hindoo  once  told  me  in  central 
India,  that  the  oracle  of  Mahadeo  had  been,  at  the 
same  time,  consulted  at  three  of  his  greatest  temples — 
one  in  the  Deccan,  one  in  Rajpootana,  and  one 
I  think  in  Bengal — as  to  the  result  of  the  govern- 
ment of  India  by  Europeans,  who  seemed  determined 
to  fill  all  the  high  offices  of  administration  with  their 
own  countrymen,  to  the  exclusion  of  the  people  of 
the  country.  A  day  was  appointed  for  the  answer ; 
and  when  the  priest  came  to  receive  it,  they  found 
Mahadeo  (Sewa)  himself,  with  an  European  com- 
plexion, and  dressed  in  European  clothes  !  He  told 
them,  "  that  their  European  government  was  in 
reality  nothing  more  than  a  multiplied  incarnation 

VOL.    II.  R 


of  himself;  and  that  he  had  come  among  them  in 
this  shape,  to  prevent  their  cutting  each  other's 
throats  as  they  had  been  doing  for  some  centuries 
past ;  that  these,  his  incarnations,  appeared  to  have 
no  religion  themselves,  in  order  that  they  might  be 
the  more  impartial  arbitrators,  between  the  people 
of  so  many  different  creeds  and  sects,  who  now  in- 
habited the  country ;  that  they  must  be  aware  that 
they  never  had  before  been  so  impartially  governed, 
and  that  they  must  continue  to  obey  these  their 
governors,  without  attempting  to  pry  further  into 
futurity  or  the  will  of  their  gods."  Mahadeo  per- 
forms a  part  in  the  great  drama  of  the  Ramaen,  or 
the  rape  of  Seeta ;  and  he  is  the  only  figure  there 
that  is  represented  with  a  white  face  I 

I  was  one  day  praising  the  law  of  primogeniture 
among  ourselves,  to  a  Mahomedan  gentleman  of  high 
rank ;  and  defending  it  on  the  ground,  that  it  pre- 
vented that  rivalry  and  bitterness  of  feeling  among 
brothers,  which  were  always  found  among  the 
Mahomedans,  whose  law  prescribes  an  equal  division 
of  property,  real  and  personal,  among  the  sons,  and 
the  choice  of  the  wisest  among  them  as  successor  to 
the  government.  "  This,"  said  he,  "  is  no  doubt  the 
source  of  our  weakness ;  but  why  should  you  condemn 
a  law  which  is  to  you  a  source  of  so  much  strength  ? 
I  one  day,"  said  he,  "  asked  Mr.  Seaton,  the  Gover- 
nor-general's representative  at  the  court  of  Delhi, 
which  of  all  things  he  had  seen  in  India  he  liked 
best  ?   '  You  have,'  replied  he  smiling,  '  a  small  species 

THE   BEST   THING   IN    INDIA.  243 

of  melon  called  pJioot,  (disunion,)  this  is  the  thing  we 
like  best  in  your  land.'  There  was,"  continued  my 
Mahomedan  friend,  "  an  infinite  deal  of  sound  poli- 
tical wisdom  in  this  one  sentence.  Mr.  Seaton  was 
a  very  good,  and  a  very  wise  man — our  European 
governors  of  the  present  day  are  not  at  all  the  same 
kind  of  thing.  I  asked  Mr.  B.,  a  judge,  the  same 
question  many  years  afterwards,  and  he  told  us  that 
he  thought  the  rupees  were  the  best  things  he  had 
found  in  India.  I  asked  Mr.  T.,  the  commissioner, 
and  he  told  me  that  he  thought  the  tobacco  which  he 
smoked  in  his  hookah  was  the  best  thing.  And  pray 
sir,  what  do  you  think  the  best  thing  ?" 

"  Why,  Nawab  Sahib,  I  am  always  very  well 
pleased  when  I  am  free  from  pain,  and  can  get  my 
nostrils  full  of  cool  air,  and  my  mouth  full  of  cold 
water  in  this  hot  land  of  yours ;  and  I  think  most  of 
my  countrymen  are  the  same.  Next  to  these,  the 
thing  we  all  admire  most  in  India,  Nawab  Sahib,  is 
the  entire  exemption  which  you,  and  I,  and  every 
other  gentleman,  native  or  European,  enjoy  from  the 
taxes  which  press  so  heavily  upon  them  in  other 
countries.  In  Cashmere,  no  midwife  is  allowed  to 
attend  a  woman  in  her  confinement  till  a  heavy  tax 
has  been  paid  to  Runjeet  Sing  for  the  infant ;  and 
in  England,  a  man  cannot  let  the  light  of  heaven 
into  his  house  till  he  has  paid  a  tax  for  the  window." 

"  Nor  keep  a  dog,  or  shoot  a  partridge  in  the  jungle, 
I  am  told,"  said  the  Nawab. 

"  Quite  true,  Nawab  Sahib."' 

R  2 


"  Hindoostan,  sir,"  said  he,  "  is  after  all  the  best 
country  in  the  world;  the  only  thing  wanted  is  a 
little  more  (roozgar)  employment  for  the  educated 
classes  under  government." 

"  True,  Nawab  Sahib,  we  might,  no  doubt,  greatly 
multiply  this  employment  to  the  advantage  of  those 
who  got  the  places,  but  we  should  have  to  multiply  at 
the  same  time  the  taxes,  to  the  great  disadvantage 
of  those  who  did  not  get  them." 

"  True,  very  true,  sir,"  said  my  old  friend. 



THE    OLD    CITY    OF    DELHI. 

On  the  21st,  we  went  on  eight  miles  to  the  Kootub 
Meenar,  across  the  range  of  sandstone  hills,  which 
rise  to  the  height  of  about  two  hundred  feet,  and 
run  north  and  south.  The  rocks  are  for  the  most 
part  naked,  but  here  and  there  the  soil  between 
them  is  covered  withfamished  grass,  and  a  few  stunted 
shrubs ;  anything  more  unprepossessing  can  hardly 
be  conceived  than  the  aspect  of  these  hills,  which 
seem  to  serve  no  other  purpose  than  to  store  up 
heat  for  the  people  of  the  great  city  of  Delhi.  We 
passed  through  a  cut  in  this  range  of  hills,  made 
apparently  by  the  stream  of  the  river  eTumna  at  some 
remote  period,  and  about  one  hundred  yards  wide  at 
the  entrance.  This  cut  is  crossed  by  an  enormous 
stone  wall,  running  north  and  south,  and  intended  to 
shut  in  the  waters,  and  form  a  lake  in  the  opening 
beyond  it.  Along  the  brow  of  the  precipice,  over- 
looking the  northern  end  of  the  wall,  is  the  stupen- 


dous  fort  of  TugJiluckabad,  built  by  the  Emperor  Tugh- 
luck  the  1st,  of  the  sandstones  of  the  range  of  hills 
on  which  it  stands,  cut  into  enormous  square  blocks. 
On  the  brow  of  the  opposite  side  of  the  precipice, 
overlooking  the  southern  end  of  the  wall,  stands  the 
fort  of  Mohumdabad,  built  by  this  Emperors  son 
and  successor,  Mahomed,  and  resembling  in  all  things 
that  built  by  his  father.  These  fortresses  over- 
looked the  lake,  with  the  old  city  of  Delhi  spread 
out  on  the  opposite  side  of  it  to  the  west.  There  is 
a  third  fortress  upon  an  isolated  hill,  east  of  the 
great  barrier  wall,  said  to  have  been  built  in  honour 
of  his  master  by  the  Emperor  Tughluck's  barber. 
The  Emperor  s  tomb  stands  upon  an  isolated  rock 
in  the  middle  of  the  once  lake,  now  plain,  about  a 
mile  to  the  west  of  the  barrier  wall.  The  rock  is 
connected  with  the  western  extremity  of  the  north- 
em  fortress,  by  a  causeway  of  twenty-five  arches,  and 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  long.  This  is  a 
fine  tomb,  and  contains  in  a  square  centre  room  the 
remains  of  the  Emperor  Tughluck,  his  wife,  and  his 
son.  The  tomb  is  built  of  red  sandstone,  and  sur- 
mounted by  a  dome  of  white  marble.  The  three 
graves  inside  are  built  of  brick,  covered  with  stucco 

The  outer  sides  of  the  tomb  slope  slightly  in- 
wards from  the  base,  in  the  form  of  a  pyramid ;  but 
the  inner  walls  are  of  course  perpendicular.  The 
impression  left  on  the  mind  after  going  over  the 
ruins  of  these  stupendous  fortifications  is,  that  the 

THE    KOOTUB    MEENAR.  247 

arts  which  contribute  to  the  comforts  and  elegancies 
of  life,  must  have  been  in  a  very  rude  state  when 
they  were  raised.  Domestic  architecture  must  have 
been  wretched  in  the  extreme.  The  buildings  are 
all  of  stone,  and  almost  all  without  cement,  and  seem 
to  have  been  raised  by  giants,  and  for  giants  whose 
arms  were  against  everybody  and  everybody's  arm 
against  them.  This  was  indeed  the  state  of  the 
Patau  sovereigns  in  India — they  were  the  creatures 
of  their  armies ;  and  their  armies  were  always  em- 
ployed against  the  people,  who  feared  and  detested 
them  all. 

The  Emperor  Tughluck,  on  his  return  at  the 
head  of  the  army,  which  he  had  led  into  Bengal 
to  chastise  some  rebellious  subjects,  was  met  at 
Afghanpore  by  his  eldest  son  Jonah,  whom  he  had 
left  in  the  government  of  the  capital.  The  prince 
had  in  three  days  raised  here  a  palace  of  wood  for  a 
grand  entertainment  to  do  honour  to  his  father's 
return ;  and  when  the  Emperor  signified  his  wish  to 
retire,  all  the  courtiers  rushed  out  before  him  to  be 
in  attendance,  and  among  the  rest,  Jonah  himself. 
Five  attendants  only  remained  when  the  Emperor 
rose  from  his  seat ;  and  at  that  moment  the  building 
fell  in  and  crushed  them  and  their  master !  Jonah 
had  been  sent  at  the  head  of  an  army  into  the 
Deccan  where  he  collected  immense  wealth  from 
the  plunder  of  the  palaces  of  princes  and  the  temples 
of  their  priests,  the  only  places  in  which  much  wealth 
was  to  be  found  in   those  days.     This   wealth  he 


tried  to  conceal  from  his  father,  whose  death  he  pro- 
bably thus  contrived,  that  he  might  the  sooner  have 
the  free  enjoyment  of  it  with  unlimited  power.  Only 
thirty  years  before,  Allaooddeen,  returning  in  the 
same  manner  at  the  head  of  an  army  from  the 
Deccan  loaded  with  wealth,  murdered  the  Emperor 
Feroze  the  2nd,  the  father  of  his  wife,  and  ascended 
the  throne.  Jonah  ascended  the  throne  under  the 
name  of  Mahomed  the  3rd ;  and  after  the  remains  of 
his  father  had  been  deposited  in  the  tomb  I  have 
described,  he  passed  in  great  pomp  and  splendour 
from  the  fortress  of  Tughluckabad,  which  his  father 
had  just  then  completed,  to  the  city  in  which  the 
Meenar  stands,  with  elephants  before  and  behind 
loaded  with  gold  and  silver  coins,  which  were  scat- 
tered among  the  crowd,  who  everywhere  hailed  him 
with  shouts  of  joy  !  The  roads  were  covered  with 
flowers,  the  houses  adorned  with  the  richest  stuff's, 
and  the  streets  resounded  with  music  ! 

He  was  a  man  of  great  learning,  and  a  great  patron 
of  learned  men  ;  he  was  a  great  founder  of  churches, 
had  prayers  read  in  them  all  at  the  prescribed  times, 
and  always  went  to  prayers  five  times  a  day  himself^ 

*  A  Mahomedan  must,  if  he  can,  say  his  prayers  with  the 
prescribed  forms  five  times  in  the  twenty-four  hours  ;  and  on 
Friday,  which  is  their  sabbath,  he  must,  if  he  can,  say  these 
prayers  in  the  church -musjid.  On  other  days  he  may  say  them 
where  he  pleases.  Every  prayer  must  begin  with  the  first  chap- 
ter of  the  Koran — this  is  the  grace  to  every  prayer.  This  said, 
the  person  may  put'  in  what  other  prayers  of  the  Koran  he  pleases. 

THE    KOOTUB    MEENAR.  249 

He  was  rigidly  temperate  himself  in  his  habits,  and 
discouraged  all  intemperance  in  others.  These  things 
secured  him  panegyrists  throughout  the  empire 
during  the  twenty-seven  years  that  he  reigned  over 
it ;  though  perhaps  he  was  the  most  detestable 
tyrant  that  ever  filled  a  throne.  He  would  take  his 
armies  out  over  the  most  populous  and  peaceful  dis- 
tricts, and  hunt  down  the  innocent  and  unoffending 
people  like  wild  beasts,  and  bring  home  their  heads 
by  thousands  to  hang  them  on  the  city  gates  for  his 
mere  amusement !  He  twice  made  the  whole  people 
of  the  city  of  Delhi  emigrate  with  him  to  Dowlu- 
tabad,  in  southern  India,  which  he  wished  to  make 
the  capital,  from  some  foolish  fancy  ;  and  during  the 
whole  of  his  reign,  gave  evident  signs  of  being  in  an 
unsound  state  of  mind  ! 

There  was,  at  the  time  of  his  father's  death,  a  saint 
at  Delhi,  named  Nizamoodeen  Ouleea,  or  the  saint, 
who  was  supposed  by  supernatural  means  to  have 
driven  from  Delhi,  one  night  in  a  panic,  a  large  army 
of  Moguls  under  Turmachurn,  who  invaded  India 
from  Transoxiana,  in  1303,  and  laid  close  siege  to  the 
city  of  Delhi,  in  which  the  Emperor  Allaooddeen 

and  ask  for  that  which  he  most  wants  as  long  as  it  does  not 
injure  other  Mussulmans.  This  is  the  first  chapter  of  the  Koran  : 
"Praise  be  to  God  the  Lord  of  all  creatures— the  most  merciful 
— the  king  of  the  day  of  judgment.  Thee  do  we  worship  ;  and 
of  thee  do  we  beg  assistance.  Direct  us  in  the  right  way — in  the 
way  of  those  to  whom  thou  hast  been  gracious  ;  not  of  those 
against  whom  thou  art  incensed,  nor  of  those  who  go  astray." 


was  shut  up  without  troops  to  defend  himself,  his 
armies  being  engaged  in  southern  India.  It  is  very 
likely  that  he  did  strike  this  army  with  a  panic  by 
getting  some  of  their  leaders  assassinated  in  one 
night.  He  was  supposed  to  have  the  "  dust  ol  ^liyK' 
or  supernatural  purse,  as  his  private  expenditure  is 
said  to  have  been  more  lavish  even  than  that  of  the 
Emperor  himself,  while  he  had  no  ostensible  source 
of  income  whatever.  The  Emperor  was  either 
jealous  of  his  influence  and  display,  or  suspected  him 
of  dark  crimes,  and  threatened  to  humble  him  when 
he  returned  to  Delhi.  As  he  approached  the  city, 
the  friends  of  the  saint,  knowing  the  resolute  spirit 
of  the  Emperor,  urged  him  to  quit  the  capital,  as  he 
had  been  often  heard  to  say,  "Let  me  but  reach 
Delhi,  and  this  proud  priest  shall  be  humbled !" 
The  only  reply  that  the  saint  would  ever  deign  to 
give  from  the  time  the  imperial  army  left  Bengal, 
till  it  was  within  one  stage  of  the  capital,  was  "  Delhi 
door  ust."  Delhi  is  still  far  off!  This  is  now  be- 
come a  proverb  over  the  east,  equivalent  to  our, 
"  there  is  many  a  slip  between  the  cup  and  the  lip." 
It  is  probable,  that  the  saint  had  some  understand- 
ing with  the  son  in  his  plans  for  the  murder  of  his 
father ;  it  is  possible,  that  his  numerous  wandering 
disciples  may  in  reality  have  been  murderers  and 
robbers ;  and  that  he  could  at  any  time  have  pro- 
cured through  them  the  assassination  of  the  Emperor. 
The  Mahomedan  Thugs,  or  assassins  of  India,  cer- 
tainly looked  upon  him  as  one  of  the  great  founders 

THE    KOOTUB    MEENAR.  251 

of  their  system ;  and   used  to   make  pilgrimages  to 
his  tomb  as  such ;  and   as  he  came  originally  from 
Persia,  and  is  considered  by  his  greatest  admirers 
to  have  been  in  his  youth  a  robber,  it  is  not  alto- 
gether impossible  that  he  may  have  been  originally 
one  of  the  assassins  or  disciples  of  the  "  old  man  of 
the  mountains ;"  and  that  he  may  have  set  up  the 
system  of  Thuggee  in  India,  and  derived  a  great 
portion  of  his  income  from  it.     Emperors  now  pros- 
trate  themselves   and  aspire    to   have  their  bones 
placed  near  it.     While  wandering  about  the  ruins, 
I  remarked  to  one  of  the  learned  men  of  the  place 
who  attended  us,  that  it  was    singular  Tughluck's 
buildings  should  be  so  rude  compared  with  those  of 
Yulteemush,  who  had  reigned  more  than  eighty  years 
before  him.     '•  Not  at  all  singular,"  said  he  ;  "  was 
he  not  under  the  curse  of  the  holy  saint  Nizamood- 
een  ?"   "  And  what  had  the  Emperor  done  to  incur  the 
holy  man's  curse  ?"     "  He  had  taken  by  force  to  em- 
ploy upon  his  palaces,  several  of  the  masons  whom 
the  holy  man  was  employing  upon  a  church^'  said  he. 
The  Kootub  Meenar  was,  I  think,  more  beyond 
my  expectations  than  the  Taj  ;  first,  because  I  had 
heard  less  of  it ;  and  secondly,  because  it  stands  as  it 
were  alone  in  India — there  is  absolutely  no  other 
tower  in  this  Indian  empire  of  ours.     Large  pillars 
have  been  cut  out  of  single  stones,  and  raised  in 
different  parts  of  India  to  commemorate  the  con- 
quests of  Hindoo  princes,  whose  names  no  one  was 
able  to  discover   for  several  centuries,  till  an  un- 


pretending  English  gentleman  of  surprising  talents 
and  industry,  Mr.  James  Prinsep,  lately  brought 
them  to  light  by  mastering  the  obsolete  characters 
in  which  they  and  their  deeds  had  been  inscribed 
upon  them.  These  pillars  would,  however,  be 
utterly  insignificant  were  they  composed  of  many 
stones.  The  knowledge  that  they  are  cut  out  of 
single  stones,  brought  from  a  distant  mountain,  and 
raised  by  the  united  efforts  of  multitudes  when  the 
mechanical  arts  were  in  a  rude  state,  makes  us  still 
view  them  with  admiration.  But  the  single  majesty 
of  this  Meenar  of  Kootubooddeen,  so  grandly  con- 
ceived, so  beautifully  proportioned,  so  chastely  em- 
bellished, and  so  exquisitely  finished,  fills  the  mind 
of  the  spectator  with  emotions  of  wonder  and  delight ; 
without  any  such  aid,  he  feels  that  it  is  among  the 
towers  of  the  earth,  what  the  Taj  is  among  the 
tombs — something  unique  of  its  kind  that  must  ever 
stand  alone  in  his  recollections. 

It  is  said  to  have  taken  forty-four  years  in  build- 
ing, and  formed  the  left  of  two  Meenars  of  a  mosque. 
The  other  Meenar  was  never  raised,  but  this  has 
been  preserved  and  repaired  by  the  liberality  of  the 
British  government.  It  is  only  two  hundred  and 
forty-two  feet  high,  and  one  hundred  and  six  feet  in 
circumference  at  the  base.  It  is  circular,  and  fluted 
vertically  into  twenty-seven  semicircular  and  angular 
divisions.  There  are  four  balconies  supported  upon 
large  stone  brackets,  and  surrounded  with  battle- 
ments of  richly  cut  stone,  to  enable  people  to  walk 

THE  KOOTUB  kfiENAR.  253 

round  the  tower  with  safety.  The  first  is  ninety 
feet  from  the  base,  the  second  fifty  feet  further  up, 
the  third  forty  feet  further ;  and  the  fourth  twenty- 
four  feet  above  the  third.  Up  to  the  third  balcony, 
the  tower  is  built  of  fine  but  somewhat  ferruginous 
sandstone,  whose  surface  has  become  red  from  ex- 
posure to  the  oxygen  of  the  atmosphere.  Up  to  the 
first  balcony,  the  fiutings  are  alternately  semicircular 
and  angular :  in  the  second  story  they  are  all  semi- 
circular, and  in  the  third  all  angular.  From  the 
third  balcony  to  the  top,  the  building  is  composed 
chiefly  of  white  marble  ;  and  the  surface  is  without 
the  deep  fiutings.  Around  the  first  story  there  are 
five  horizontal  belts  of  passages  from  the  Koran, 
engraved  in  bold  relief,  and  in  the  Kufic  character. 
In  the  second  story  there  are  four,  and  in  the  third 
three.  The  ascent  is  by  a  spiral  staircase  within, 
of  three  hundred  and  eighty  steps ;  and  there  are 
passages  from  this  staircase  to  the  balconies,  with 
others  here  and  there  for  the  admission  of  light  and 

A  foolish  notion  has  prevailed  among  some  people, 
overfond  of  paradox,  that  this  tower  is  in  reality  a 
Hindoo  building,  and  not,  as  commonly  supposed,  a 
Mahomedan  one.  Never  was  paradox  supported 
upon  more  frail,  I  might  say,  absurd  foundations. 
They  are  these — 1st,  that  there  is  only  one  Meenar, 
whereas  there  ought  to  have  been  two — had  the  un- 
finished one  been  intended  as  the  second,  it  would 
not  have  been,  as  it  really  is,  larger  than  the  first ; 


2nd,  that  other  Meenars  seen  in  the  present  day 
either  do  not  slope  inward,  from  the  base  up,  at  all, 
or  do  not  slope  so  much  as  this.  I  tried  to  trace  the 
origin  of  this  paradox,  and  I  think  I  found  it  in  a 
silly  old  Moonshee  in  the  service  of  the  Emperor. 
He  told  me  that  he  believed  it  was  built  by  a  former 
Hindoo  prince  for  his  daughter,  who  wished  to  wor- 
ship the  rising  sun,  and  view  the  waters  of  the  Jumna 
from  the  top  of  it  every  morning. 

There  is  no  other  Hindoo  building  in  India  at  all 
like,  or  of  the  same  kind  as  this ;  the  ribbons  or 
belts  of  passages  from  the  Koran  are  all  in  relief, 
and  had  they  not  been  originally  inserted  as  they  are, 
the  whole  surface  of  the  building  must  have  been 
cut  down  to  throw  them  out  in  bold  relief  The 
slope  is  the  peculiar  characteristic  of  all  the  archi- 
tecture of  the  Pythans,  by  whom  the  church  to  which 
this  tower  belongs  was  built.  Nearly  all  the  arches 
of  the  church  are  still  standing  in  a  more  or  less 
perfect  state,  and  all  correspond  in  design,  propor- 
tion, and  execution,  to  the  tower.  The  ruins  of  the 
old  Hindoo  temples  about  the  place,  and  about  every 
other  place  in  India,  are  totally  different  in  all  three ; 
here  they  are  all  exceedingly  paltry  and  insignificant, 
compared  with  the  church  and  its  tower,  and  it  is 
evident,  that  it  was  the  intention  of  the  founder  to 
make  them  appear  so  to  future  generations  of  the 
faithful,  for  he  has  taken  care  to  make  his  own  great 
work  support  rather  than  destroy  them,  that  they 
might  for  ever  tend  to  enhance  its  grandeur. 

THE    KOOTUB    MEENAR.  255 

It  is  sufficiently  clear  that  the  unfinished  Meenar 
was  commenced  first,  upon  too  large  a  scale,  and 
with  too  small  a  diminution  of  the  circumference 
from  the  base  upwards.  It  is  two-fifths  larger  than 
the  finished  tower  in  circumference,  and  much  more 
perpendicular.  Finding  these  errors  when  they  had 
got  some  thirty  feet  from  the  foundation,  the  founder, 
Shumshoodeen,  began  the  work  anew,  and  had  he 
lived  a  little  longer,  there  is  no  doubt  that  he  would 
have  raised  the  second  tower  in  its  proper  place, 
upon  the  same  scale  as  the  one  completed.  His 
death  was  followed  by  several  successive  revolutions  ; 
five  sovereigns  succeeded  each  other  on  the  throne 
of  Delhi  in  ten  years.  As  usual  on  such  occasions, 
works  of  peace  were  suspended ;  and  succeeding  so- 
vereigns sought  renown  in  military  enterprises  rather 
than  in  building  churches.  This  church  was  entire, 
with  the  exception  of  the  second  Meenar,  when 
Tamerlane  invaded  India.  He  took  back  a  model 
of  it  with  him  to  Samarcund,  together  with  all  the 
masons  he  could  find  at  Delhi,  and  is  said  to  have 
built  a  church  upon  the  same  plan  at  that  place,  be- 
fore he  set  out  for  the  invasion  of  Syria. 

The  west  face  of  the  quadrangle,  in  which  the 
tower  stands,  formed  the  church,  which  consisted  of 
eleven  large  arched  alcoves,  the  centre  and  largest  of 
which  contained  the  pulpit.  In  size  and  beauty 
they  seem  to  have  corresponded  with  the  Meenar ; 
but  they  are  now  all  in  ruins.  In  the  front  of  the 
centre  of  these  alcoves  stands  the  metal  pillar  of  the 


old  Hindoo  sovereign  of  Delhi,  Prethee  Raj,  across 
whose  temple  all  the  great  mosque,  of  which  this 
tower  forms  a  part,  was  thrown  in  triumph.  The 
ruins  of  these  temples  lie  scattered  all  round  the 
place ;  and  consist  of  colonnades  of  stone  pillars  and 
pedestals,  richly  enough  carved  with  human  figures, 
in  attitudes  rudely  and  obscenely  conceived.  The 
small  pillar  is  of  bronze,  or  a  metal  which  resembles 
bronze,  and  is  softer  than  brass,  and  of  the  same  form 
precisely  as  that  of  the  stone  pillar  at  Erun,  on  the 
Beena  river  in  Malwa,  upon  which  stands  the  figure 
of  Krishna,  with  the  glory  around  his  head.  It  is 
said  that  this  metal  pillar  was  put  down  through  the 
earth,  so  as  to  rest  upon  the  very  head  of  the  snake 
that  supports  the  world ;  and  that  the  sovereign  who 
made  it,  and  fixed  it  upon  so  firm  a  basis,  was  told 
by  his  spiritual  advisers,  that  his  dynasty  should  last 
as  long  as  the  pillar  remained  where  it  was.  Anxious 
to  see  that  the  pillar  was  really  where  the  priests 
supposed  it  to  be,  that  his  posterity  might  be  quite 
sure  of  their  position,  Prethee  Raj  had  it  taken  up, 
and  he  found  the  blood  and  some  of  tlie  flesh  of  the 
snake's  head  adhering  to  the  bottom.  By  this  means 
the  charm  was  broken,  and  the  priests  told  him  that 
he  had  destroyed  all  the  hopes  of  his  house  by  his 
want  of  faith  in  their  assurances.  I  have  never  met 
a  Hindoo  that  doubted  either  that  the  pillar  was 
really  upon  this  snake's  head,  or  that  the  King  lost 
his  crown  by  his  want  oi  faith  in  the  assurance  of 



his  priests  !  They  all  believe  that  the  pillar  is  still 
stuck  into  the  head  of  the  great  snake,  and  that  no 
human  efforts  of  the  present  day  could  remove  it. 
On  my  way  back  to  my  tents,  I  asked  the  old  Hindoo 
officer  of  my  guard,  who  had  gone  with  me  to  see 
the  metal  pillar,  "  What  he  thought  of  the  story  of 
the  pillar?" 

"  What  the  people  relate  about  this  Khillee  (pillar) 
having  been  stuck  into  the  head  of  the  snake  that 
supports  the  world,  sir,  is  nothing  more  than  a  simple 
Jiistorical  fact  known  to  everybody.  Is  it  not  so,  my 
brothers  ?"  said  he,  turning  to  the  Hindoo  sepahees 
and  followers  around  us,  who  all  declared  that  no 
fact  could  ever  be  better  established ! 

"  When  the  Rajah,"  continued  the  old  soldier, 
"  had  got  the  pillar  fast  into  the  head  of  the  snake, 
he  was  told  by  his  chief  priest  that  his  dynasty 
must  now  reign  over  Hindoostan  for  ever.  '  But,' 
said  the  Rajah,  *  as  all  seems  to  depend  upon  the 
pillar  being  on  the  head  of  the  snake,  we  had  better 
see  that  it  is  so  with  our  own  eyes.'  He  ordered  it 
to  be  taken  up  ;  the  clergy  tried  to  dissuade  him,  but 
all  in  vain.  Up  it  was  taken — the  flesh  and  the  blood 
of  the  snake  were  found  upon  it — the  pillar  was  re- 
placed; but  a  voice  was  heard  saying — 'Thy  want 
of  faith  hath  destroyed  thee — thy  reign  must  soon 
end,  and  with  it  that  of  thy  race.' " 

I  asked  the  old  soldier  from  whence  the  voice 

VOL.    II.  s 


He  said  this  was  a  point  that  had  not,  he  be- 
lieved, been  quite  settled.  Some  thought  it  was 
from  the  serpent  himself  below  the  earth — others 
that  it  came  from  the  high  priest,  or  some  of  his 
clergy !  "  Wherever  it  came  from,"  said  the  old 
man,  "  there  is  no  doubt  that  God  decreed  the 
Rajah's  fall  for  his  want  of  faith ;  and  fall  he  did 
soon  after." 

All  our  followers  concurred  in  this  opinion,  and 
the  old  man  seemed  quite  delighted  to  think  that  he 
had  had  an  opportunity  of  delivering  his  sentiments 
upon  so  great  a  question  before  so  respectable  an 

The  Emperor  Shumshodeen  Altumsh  is  said  to 
have  designed  this  great  Mahomedan  church  at  the 
suggestion  of  Khojah  Kootubooddeen,  a  Mahomedan 
saint  from  Ouse,  in  Persia,  who  was  his  religious 
guide  and  apostle — and  died  some  sixteen  years  be- 
fore him.  His  tomb  is  among  the  ruins  of  this  old 
city.  Pilgrims  visit 'it  from  all  parts  of  India,  and 
go  away  persuaded  that  they  shall  have  all  they  have 
asked,  provided  they  have  given  or  promised  liberally 
in  a  pure  spirit  of  faith  in  his  influence  with  the 
Deity.  The  tomb  of  the  saint  is  covered  with  gold 
brocade,  and  protected  by  an  awning — those  of  the 
Emperors  around  it  lie  naked  and  exposed.  Em- 
perors and  princes  in  abundance  lie  all  around  him ; 
and  their  tombs  are  entirely  disregarded  by  the  hun- 
dreds that  daily  prostrate  themselves  before  his,  and 

THE    PRESENT    MOGUL.  259 

have  been  doing  so  for  the  last  six  hundred  years. 
Among  the  rest  I  saw  here  the  tomb  of  Mouzzim, 
alias   Bahadur   Shah,    the    son    and    successor    of 
Ourungzebe,  and  that  of  the  blind  old  Emperor  Shah 
Alum,  from  whom  the  honourable  Company  got  their 
Dewanee  grant.     The  grass  grows  upon  the  slab  that 
covers  the  remains  of  Mouzzim — the  most  leamedj 
most   pious,    and  most  amiable,  I  believe,   of  the 
crowned  descendants   of  the  great  Akbar.      These 
kings  and  princes  all  try  to  get  a  place  as  near  as 
they  can  to  the  remains  of  such  old  saints,  believing 
that  the  ground  is  more  holy  than  any  other,  and 
that  they  may  give  them  a  lift  on  the  day  of  resur- 
rection !     The  heir  apparent  to  the  throne  of  Delhi 
visited  the  tomb  the  same  day  that  I  did.*     He  was 
between  sixty  and  seventy  years  of  age.     I  asked 
some  of  the  attendants  of  the  tomb,  on  my  way  back, 
what  he  had  come  to  pray  for ;  and  was  told  that 
no  one  knew,  but  every  one  supposed  it  was  for  the 
death  of  the  Emperor,  his  father,  who  was  only  fifteen 
years  older,  and  was  busily  engaged  in  promoting  an 
intrigue  at  the  instigation  of  one  of  his  wives,  to 
oust  him,  and  get  one  of  her  sons,   Mirza  Saleem, 
acknowledged  as  his  successor  by  the  British  govern- 
ment.    It  was  the  Hindoo  festival  of  the  Busunt, 
and  all  the  avenues  to  the  tomb  of  this  old  saint 
were  crowded  when  I  visited  it.     Why  the  Maho- 

*  He  is  now  Emperor,  having  succeeded  his  father,  Akbar 
Shah,  in  1837. 

S  2 


medans  crowded  to  the  tomb  on  a  Hindoo  holiday  I 
could  not  ascertain. 

The  Emperor  Altumsh,  who  died  a.  d.  1 235,  is 
buried  close  behind  one  end  of  the  arched  alcove, 
in  a  beautiful  tomb  without  its  cupola.  He  built  the 
tomb  himself,  and  left  orders  that  there  should  be 
no  purdah  (screen)  between  him  and  heaven ;  and  no 
dome  was  thrown  over  the  building  in  consequence. 
Other  great  men  have  done  the  same,  and  their  tombs 
look  as  if  their  domes  had  fallen  in ;  they  think  the 
way  should  be  left  clear  for  a  start  on  the  day  of  re- 
surrection. The  church  is  stated  to  have  been  added 
to  it  by  the  Emperor  Baleen,  and  the  Meenar  finished. 
About  the  end  of  the  seventeenth  century  it  was  so 
shaken  by  an  earthquake,  that  the  two  upper  stories 
fell  down.  Our  government,  when  the  country  came 
into  our  possession,  undertook  to  repair  these  two 
stories,  and  entrusted  the  work  to  Captain  Smith, 
who  built  up  one  of  stone,  and  the  other  of  wood,  and 
completed  the  repairs  in  three  years.  The  one  was 
struck  by  lightning  eight  or  nine  years  after,  and 
came  down.  If  it  was  anything  like  the  one  that  is 
left,  the  lightning  did  well  to  remove  it.  About  five 
years  ago,  while  the  Emperor  was  on  a  visit  to  the 
tomb  of  Kootubooddeen,  a  madman  got  into  his  private 
apartments.  The  servants  were  ordered  to  turn  him 
out.  On  passing  the  Meenar  he  ran  in,  ascended  to 
the  top,  stood  a  few  moments  on  the  verge,  laughing 
at  those  who  were  running  after  him,  and  made  a 


spring  that  enabled  him  to  reach  the  bottom,  with- 
out touching  the  sides.  An  eye-witness  told  me  that 
he  kept  his  erect  position  till  about  half-way  down, 
when  he  turned  over,  and  continued  to  turn  till  he 
got  to  the  bottom,  where  his  fall  made  a  report  like 
a  gun.  He  was  of  course  dashed  to  pieces.  About 
five  months  ago  another  fell  over  by  accident,  and 
was  dashed  to  pieces  against  the  sides.  A  new 
road  has  been  here  cut  through  the  tomb  of  the 
Emperor  Allaooddeen,  who  murdered  his  father- 
in-law — the  first  Mahomedan  conqueror  of  southern 
India,  and  his  remains  have  been  scattered  to  the 

A  very  pretty  marble  tomb,  to  the  west  of  the 
alcoves,  covers  the  remains  of  Imam  Mushudee,  the 
religious  guide  of  the   Emperor  Akbar ;  and  a  mag- 
nificent tomb  of  freestone  covers  those  of  one  of  his 
four  foster  brothers.     This  was  long  occupied  as  a 
dwelling-house  by  the  late  Mr.  Blake,  of  the  Bengal 
civil  service,  who  was  lately  barbarously  murdered  at 
Jeypoor.     To  make  room  for  his  dining-tables  he 
removed  the  marble  slab,  which  covered  the  remains 
of  the  dead,  from  the  centre  of  the  building,  against 
the  urgent  remonstrance  of  the  people,  and  threw  it 
carelessly  on  one  side  against  the  wall,  where  it  now 
lies.     The  people  appealed  in  vain,  it  is  said,  to  Mr. 
Eraser,   the   Governor-general's  representative,  who 
was  soon  after  assassinated  ;  and  a  good  many  attri- 
bute the  death  of  both  to  this  outrage  upon  the  re- 
mains of  the  dead  foster-brother  of  Akbar.     Those 


of  Allaoodeen  were,  no  doubt,  older  and  less  sen- 
sitive. Tombs  equally  magnificent  cover  the  re- 
mains of  the  other  three  foster-brothers  of  Akbar, 
but  I  did  not  enter  them. 




On  the  22nd  of  January,  1836,  we  went  on  twelve 
miles  to  the  new  city  Delhi,  built  by  the  Emperor 
Shah  J  eh  an,  and  called  after  him  Shahjehanabad ; 
and  took  up  our  quarters  in  the  palace  of  the  Begum 
Sumroo,  a  fine  building,  agreeably  situated  in  a 
garden  opening  into  the  great  street,  with  a  branch 
of  the  great  canal  running  through  it,  and  as  quiet 
as  if  it  had  been  in  a  wilderness.  We  had  obtained 
from  the  Begum  permission  to  occupy  this  palace 
during  our  stay.  It  was  elegantly  furnished,  the  ser- 
vants were  all  exceedingly  attentive,  and  we  were 
very  happy. 

The  Kootub  Meenar  stands  upon  the  back  of  the 
sandstone  range  of  low  hills,  and  the  road  descends 
over  the  north-eastern  face  of  this  range  for  half  a 
mile,  and  then  passes  over  a  level  plain  all  the  way 
to  the  new  city,  which  lies  on  the  right  bank  of  the 


river  Jumna.     The  whole  plain  is  literally  covered 
with  the  remains  of  splendid   Mahomedan  mosques 
and  mausoleums.     These  Mahomedans   seem  as  if 
they   had  always  in   their  thoughts    the  saying   of 
Christ,  which  Akbar  has  inscribed  on  the  gateway 
at  Futtehpore  Secree,   "  Life  is  a  bridge  which  you 
are  to  pass  over,  and  not  to  build  your  dwellings 
upon."     The  buildings  which  they  have  left  behind 
them  have  almost  all  a  reference  to  a  future  state — 
they  laid  out  their  means  in  a  church,  in  which  the 
Deity  might  be  propitiated  ;  in  a  tomb  where  learned 
and  pious  men  might  chant  their  Koran  over  their 
remains,  and  youth  be  instructed  in  their  duties ;  in 
a  saraes,    a    bridge,   a  canal   built  gratuitously  for 
the  public  good,  that  those  who  enjoyed  their  ad- 
vantages from  generation  to  generation  might  pray 
for  the  repose  of  their  souls.    How  could  it  be  other- 
wise, where  the  land  was  the  property  of  govern- 
ment, where  capital  was  never  concentrated  or  safe, 
w^here  the  only  aristocracy  was  that  of  office,  while 
the  Emperor  was  the  sole  recognised  heir  of  all  his 
public  officers.     The  only  things  that  he  could  not 
inherit,  were  his  tombs,  his  temples,  his  bridges,  his 
canals,  and  his  caravansaries.     I  was  acquainted  with 
the  history  of  most  of  the  great  men  whose  tombs 
and  temples  I  visited  along  the  road ;  but  I  asked 
in  vain  for  a  sight  of  the  palaces  they  occupied  in 
their  day   of  pride  and   powder.     They  all  had,  no 
doubt,   good  houses  agreeably  situated,   like  that  of 
the  Begum   Sumroo,  in  the  midst  of  well-watered 


gardens  and  shrubberies,  delightful  in  their  season ; 
but  they  cared  less  about  them — they  knew  that  the 
Emperor  was  heir  to  every  member  of  the  great 
body  to  which  they  belonged,  the  aristocracy  of 
office;  and  might  transfer  all  their  wealth  to  his 
treasury,  and  all  their  palaces  to  his  successors,  the 
moment  the  breath  should  be  out  of  their  bodies. 
If  their  sons  got  office,  it  would  neither  be  in  the 
same  grades,  nor  in  the  same  places  as  those  of  their 

How  different  it  is  in  Europe  where  our  aristo- 
cracy is  formed  upon  a  different  basis ;  no  one  knows 
where  to  find  the  tombs  in  which  the  remains  of 
great  men  who  have  passed  away,  repose ;  or  the 
churches  and  colleges  they  have  founded ;  or  the 
saraes,  the  bridges,  the  canals  they  formed  gra- 
tuitously for  the  public  good ;  but  everybody  knows 
where  to  find  their  "  proud  palaces" — "  life  is  not  to 
them  a  bridge  over  which  they  are  to  pass,  and  not 
build  their  dwellings  upon  !"  The  eldest  sons  enjoy 
all  the  patrimonial  estates ;  and  employ  them  as 
best  they  may  to  get  their  younger  brothers  into 
situations  in  the  church,  the  army,  the  navy,  and 
other  public  establishments,  in  which  they  may  be 
honourably  and  liberally  provided  for  out  of  the 
public  purse. 

About  half  way  between  the  great  tower  and  the 
new  city,  on  the  left-hand  side  of  the  road,  stands  the 
tomb  of  Munsoor  Ally  Khan,  the  great  grandfather 
of  the  present  King  of  Oude.     Of  all  the  tombs  to 


be  seen  in  this  immense  extent  of  splendid  ruins, 
this  is  perhaps  the  only  one  raised  over  a  subject,  the 
family  of  whose  inmates  are  now  in  a  condition  even 
to  keep  it  in  repair.  It  is  a  very  beautiful  mauso- 
leum, built  after  the  model  of  the  Taj  at  Agra;  with 
this  difference,  that  the  external  wall  around  the 
quadrangle  of  the  Taj  is  here,  as  it  were,  thrown 
back,  and  closed  in  upon  the  tomb.  The  beautiful 
gateway  at  the  entrance  of  the  gardens  of  the  Taj 
forms  each  of  the  four  sides  of  the  tomb  of  Munsoor 
Ally  Khan,  with  all  its  chaste  beauty  of  design,  pro- 
portion, and  ornament.  The  quadrangle  in  which 
this  mausoleum  stands  is  about  three  hundred  and 
fifty  yards  square,  surrounded  by  a  stone  wall,  with 
handsome  gateways,  and  filled  in  the  same  manner 
as  that  of  the  Taj  at  Agra,  with  cisterns  and  fruit- 
trees.  Three  kinds  of  stones  are  used, — white 
marble,  red  sandstone,  and  the  fine  white  and  flesh- 
coloured  sandstone  of  Roopbas.  The  dome  is  of 
white  marble,  and  exactly  of  the  same  form  as  that 
of  the  Taj  ;  but  it  stands  on  a  neck  or  base  of  sand- 
stone, with  twelve  sides,  and  the  white  marble  is  of 
a  quality  very  inferior  to  that  of  the  Taj.  It  is  of 
coarse  dolomite,  and  has  become  a  good  deal  dis- 
coloured by  time,  so  as  to  give  it  the  appearance 
which  Bishop  Heber  noticed,  of  potted  meat.  The 
neck  is  not  quite  so  long  as  that  of  the  Taj,  and  is 
better  covered  by  the  marble  cupolas  that  stand  above 
each  face  of  the  building.  The  four  noble  minarets 
are  however  wanting.     The  apartments  are  all   in 



number  and  form  exactly  like  those  of  the  Taj,  but 
they  are  somewhat  less  in  size.  In  the  centre  of  the 
first  floor  lies  the  beautiful  marble  slab  that  bears  the 
date  of  this  smaW  pillar  of  a  tottering  state,  a.  D.  1167; 
and  in  a  vault  underneath,  repose  his  remains,  by  the 
side  of  those  of  one  of  his  grand-daughters.  The 
graves  that  cover  these  remains  are  of  plain  earth, 
strewed  with  fresh  flowers,  and  covered  with  plain 
cloth.  About  two  miles  from  this  tomb  to  the  east 
stands  that  of  the  father  of  Akbar,  Hoomaeeoon,  a 
large  and  magnificent  building.  As  I  rode  towards  this 
building  to  see  the  slab  tliat  covers  the  head  of  poor 
Dara  Shekoh,  I  frequently  cast  a  lingering  look  be- 
hind, to  view,  as  often  as  I  could,  this  very  pretty 
imitation  of  the  most  beautiful  of  all  the  tombs  of 
the  earth. 

On  my  way  I  turned  in  to  see  the  tomb  of  the 
celebrated  saint,  Nizamoodeen  Ouleea,  the  defeater 
of  the  Transoxianian  army  under  Turmachum,  in 
1303,  to  which  pilgrimages  are  still  made  from  all 
parts  of  India.*  It  is  a  small  building,  surmounted 
by  a  white  marble  dome,  and  kept  very  clean  and 
neat.  By  its  side  is  that  of  the  poet  Khusroo,  his 
contemporary  and  friend,  who  moved  about  where 
he    pleased  through    the    palace  of    the    Emperor 

*  Nizamoodeen  was  the  disciple  of  Furreedoodeen  Gunj 
Shukur,  so  called  from  his  look  being  sufficient  to  convert  clods 
of  earth  into  lumps  of  sugar.  Furreed  was  the  disciple  of 
Kootubooddeen,  of  old  Delhi,  who  was  the  disciple  of  Moenoodeen, 
of  Ajmere — the  greatest  of  all  their  saints. 


Tughluck  Shah  the  First,  five  hundred  years  ago, 
and  sang,  extempore,  to  his  lyre,  while  the  greatest 
and  the  fairest  watched  his  lips  to  catch  the  expres- 
sions as  they  came  warm  from  his  soul.  His  popular 
songs  are  still  the  most  popular ;  and  he  is  one  of 
the  favoured  few  who  live  through  ages  in  the  every- 
day thoughts  and  feelings  of  many  millions,  while 
the  crowned  heads  that  patronized  them  in  their 
brief  day  of  pomp  and  power  are  forgotten,  or  re- 
membered merely  as  they  happened  to  be  connected 
with  them.  His  tomb  has  also  a  dome,  and  the 
grave  is  covered  with  rich  brocade,  and  attended 
with  as  much  reverence  and  devotion  as  that  of  the 
great  saint  himself,  while  those  of  the  emperors, 
kings,  and  princes,  that  have  been  crowded  around 
them,  are  entirely  disregarded.  A  number  of  people 
are  employed  to  read  the  Koran  over  the  grave  of 
the  old  saint,  who  died  a.  h.  725,  and  are  paid  by  con- 
tributions from  the  present  Emperor,  and  the  mem- 
bers of  his  family,  who  occasionally  come  in  their 
hour  of  need,  to  entreat  his  intercession  with  the 
Deity  in  their  favour,  and  by  the  humble  pilgrims 
who  flock  from  all  parts  for  the  same  purpose.  A 
great  many  boys  are  here  educated  by  these  readers 
of  their  sacred  volume.  All  my  attendants  bowed 
their  heads  to  the  dust  before  the  shrine  of  the 
saint,  but  they  seemed  especially  indifferent  to  those 
of  the  royal  family,  which  are  all  open  to  the  sky. 
Respect  shown  or  neglected  towards  them  could 
bring  neither  good  nor  evil ;  while  any  slight  to  the 

A    ROYAL    DRUNKARD.  269 

toml)  of  the  crusty  old  mint  might  be  of  serious  con- 
sequence ! 

In  an  enclosure  formed  by  marble  screens,  beauti- 
fully carved,  is  the  tomb  of  the  favourite  son  of  the 
present  Emperor,  Mirza  Juhangeer,  vrhom  I  knew 
intimately  at  Allahabad,  in  1816,  when  he  was  kill- 
ing himself  as  fast  as  he  could  with  Hoffman's  cherry 
brandy.  "  This,"  he  would  say  to  me,  "  is  really  the 
only  liquor  that  you  Englishmen  have  worth  drink- 
ing ;  and  its  only  fault  is  that  it  makes  one  drunk 
too  soon !"  To  prolong  his  pleasure,  he  used  to 
limit  himself  to  one  large  glass  every  hour,  till  he 
got  dead  drunk.  Two  or  three  sets  of  dancing 
women  and  musicians  used  to  relieve  each  other  in 
amusing  him  during  this  interval.  He  died  of  course 
soon,  and  the  poor  old  Emperor  was  persuaded  by 
his  mother,  the  favourite  sultana,  that  he  had  fallen 
a  victim  to  sigJiing  and  grief  at  the  treatment  of  the 
English,  who  would  not  permit  him  to  remain  at 
Delhi,  where  he  was  continually  employed  in  attempts 
to  assassinate  his  eldest  brother,  the  heir  apparent, 
and  to  stir  up  insurrections  among  the  people.  He 
was  not  in  confinement  at  Allahabad,  but  merely  pro- 
hibited from  returning  to  Delhi.  He  had  a  splendid 
dwelling,  a  good  income,  and  all  the  honours  due  to 
his  rank. 

In  another  enclosure  of  the  same  kind,  are  the 
Emperor  Mahomed  Shah — who  reigned  when  Nadir 
Shah  invaded  Delhi — his  mother,  wife,  and  daughter ; 
and  in  another,  close  by,  is  the  tomb  which  interested 


me  most — that  of  Jelianara  Begum,  the  favourite 
sister  of  poor  Dara  Shekoh,  and  daughter  of  Shah 
Jehan.  It  stands  in  the  same  enclosure,  with  the 
brother  of  the  present  Emperor  on  one  side,  and  his 
daughter  on  the  other.  Her  remains  are  covered 
with  a  marble  slab  hollow  at  the  top,  and  exposed 
to  the  sky — the  hollow  is  filled  with  earth  covered 
with  green  grass.  Upon  her  tomb  is  the  following 
inscription,  the  three  first  lines  of  which  are  said  to 
have  been  written  by  herself. 

"  Let  no  rich  canopy  cover  my  grave.  This  grass 
is  the  best  covering  for  the  tombs  of  the  poor  in 
spirit.  The  humble,  the  transitory  Jehanara,  the 
disciple  of  the  holy  men  of  Christ,  the  daughter  of 
the  Emperor  Shah  Jehan." 

I  went  over  the  magnificent  tomb  of  Hoomaeeoon, 
which  was  raised  over  his  remains  by  his  son  the 
Emperor  Akbar.  It  stands  in  the  centre  of  a  qua- 
drangle of  about  four  hundred  yards  square,  with  a 
cloistered  wall  all  round ;  but  I  must  not  describe 
any  more  tombs.  Here,  under  a  marble  slab,  lies 
the  head  of  poor  Dara  Shekoh,  who  but  for  a  little 
infirmity  of  temper  had,  perhaps,  changed  the  desti- 
nies of  India,  by  changing  the  character  of  education 
among  the  aristocracy  of  the  countries  under  his 
rule,  and  preventing  the  birth  of  the  Mahratta 
powers,  by  leaving  untouched  the  independent  king- 
doms of  the  Deccan,  upon  whose  ruins,  under  his  bigot- 
ed brother,  the  former  rose.  Secular  and  religious 
education  were  always  inseparably  combined  among 

PRINCE    DARA.  271 

the  Mahomedans,  and  invited  to  India  from  Persia 
by  the  public  offices,  civil  and  military,  which  men 
of  education  and  courtly  manners  could  alone  ob- 
tain. These  offices  had  long  been  filled  exclusively 
by  such  men,  who  flocked  in  crowds  to  India  from 
Khorassan  and  Persia.  Every  man  qualified  by  se- 
cular instruction  to  make  his  way  at  court,  and  fill 
such  offices,  was  disposed  by  his  religious  instruction 
to  assert  the  supremacy  of  his  creed,  and  to  exclude 
the  followers  of  every  other  from  the  employments 
over  which  he  had  any  control.  The  aristocracy  of 
office  was  the  ocean  to  which  this  stream  of  Ma- 
homedan  education  flowed  from  the  west,  and  spread 
all  over  India ;  and  had  Dara  subdued  his  brothers, 
and  ascended  the  throne,  he  would  probably  have 
arrested  the  flood  by  closing  the  public  offices 
against  these  Persian  adventurers,  and  filling  them 
with  Christians  and  Hindoos.  This  would  have 
changed  the  character  of  the  aristocracy  and  the 
education  of  the  people. 

While  looking  upon  the  slab  under  which  his 
head  reposes,  I  thought  of  the  slight  "  accidents  by 
flood  and  field,"  the  still  slighter  thought  of  the 
brain  and  feeling  of  the  heart,  on  which  the  destinies 
of  nations  and  of  empires  often  depend — on  the 
discovery  of  the  great  diamond  in  the  mines  of  Gol- 
conda — on  the  accident  which  gave  it  into  the  hands 
of  an  ambitious  Persian  adventurer — on  the  thought 
which  suggested  the  advantage  of  presenting  it  to 
Shah  Jehau — on  the  feeling  which  made  Dara  get 


off,  and  Ourungzebe  sit  on  his  elephant  at  the  battle  of 
Sureenuggur,  on  which  depended  the  fate  of  India, 
and  perhaps  the  advancement  of  the  Christian  religion 
and  European  literature  and  science  over  Tndia.  But 
for  the  accident  which  gave  Charles  Martel  the 
victory  over  the  Saracens  at  Tours,  Arabic  and  Per- 
sian had  perhaps  been  the  classical  languages,  and 
Islamism  the  religion  of  Europe  ;  and  where  we 
have  cathedrals  and  colleges  we  might  have  had 
mosques  and  mausoleums,  and  America  and  the 
Cape,  the  compass  and  the  press,  the  steam-engine, 
the  telescope,  and  the  Copernican  system,  might 
have  remained  still  undiscovered  ;  and  but  for  the  ac- 
cident which  turned  Hannibal's  face  from  Rome  after 
the  battle  of  Cannae,  or  that  which  intercepted  his 
brother  Asdrubal's  letter,  we  might  now  all  be 
speaking  the  languages  of  Tyre  and  Sidon,  and 
roasting  our  own  children  in  offerings  to  Sewa  or 
Saturn,  instead  of  saving  those  of  the  Hindoos ! 
Poor  Dara !  but  for  thy  little  jealousy  of  thy  father 
and  thy  son,  thy  desire  to  do  all  the  work  without 
their  aid,  and  those  occasional  ebullitions  of  passion 
which  alienated  from  thee  the  most  powerful  of  the 
Hindoo  princes,  whom  it  was  so  much  thy  wish  and 
thy  interest  to  cherish,  thy  generous  heart  and  en- 
lightened mind  had  reigned  over  this  vast  empire, 
and  made  it,  perchance,  the  garden  it  deserves  to 
be  made. 

I   visited  the   celebrated   mosque  known  by  the 
name  of  Jumna  Musjid,  a  fine  building  raised  by  Shah 

«  THE    BOOK."  273 

Jehan,  and  finished  in  six  years,  a..h  1060,  at  a  cost 
of  ten  lacks  of  rupees,  or  one  hundred  thousand 
pounds.  Money  campared  to  man's  labour  and  sub- 
sistence is  still  four  times  more  valuable  in  India 
than  in  England;  and  a  similar  building  in  England 
would  cost  at  least  four  hundred  thousand  pounds. 
It  is  like  all  the  buildings  raised  by  this  Emperor, 
in  the  best  taste  and  style.  I  was  attended  by  three 
very  well  dressed  and  modest  Hindoos,  and  a  Maho- 
medan  servant  of  the  Emperor.  My  attention  was 
so  much  taken  up  with  the  edifice,  that  I  did  not 
perceive  till  I  was  about  to  return,  that  the  door- 
keepers had  stopped  my  three  Hindoos.  I  found 
that  they  had  offered  to  leave  their  shoes  behind, 
and  submit  to  anything  to  be  permitted  to  follow  me  ; 
but  the  porters  had,  they  said,  strict  orders  to  admit 
no  worshippers  of  idols  ;  for  their  master  was  a  man 
of  the  book,  and  had  therefore  got  a  little  of  the  truth 
in  him,  though  unhappily  not  much,  since  his  heart 
had  not  been  opened  to  that  of  the  Koran.  Nuthoo 
could  have  told  him,  that  he  also  had  a  book,  which 
he  and  some  fourscore  millions  more  thought  as  good 
as  his  or  better ;  but  he  was  afraid  to  descant  upon  the 
merits  of  his  shasters,  and  the  miracles  of  Kishen 
Jee,  among  such  fierce  cut-throat  looking  people ; 
he  looked,  however,  as  if  he  could  have  eaten  the 
porter,  Koran  and  all,  when  I  came  to  their  rescue. 
The  only  volumes  which  Mahomedans  designate  by 
the  name  of  the  book,  are  the  old  and  new  Testament, 
and  the  Koran. 

VOL.    II.  T 


I  visited  also  the  palace,  which  was  built  by  the 
same  Emperor.  It  stands  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Jumna,  and  occupies  a  quadrangle  surrounded  by  a 
high  wall  built  of  red  sandstone,  about  one  mile  in 
circumference ;  one  side  looks  down  into  the  clear 
stream  of  the  Jumna,  while  the  others  are  surrounded 
by  the  streets  of  the  city.  The  entrance  is  by  a 
noble  gateway  to  the  west ;  and  facing  this  gateway 
on  the  inside,  a  hundred  and  twenty  yards  distant,  is 
the  Dewani  Aam,  or  the  common  hall  of  audience. 
This  is  a  large  hall,  the  roof  of  which  is  sup- 
ported upon  four  colonnades  of  pillars  of  red  sand- 
stone, now  whitewashed,  but  once  covered  over  with 
stucco  work  and  gilded.  On  one  of  these  pillars  is 
shown  the  mark  of  the  dagger  of  a  Hindoo  prince  of 
Chittore,  who,  in  the  presence  of  the  Emperor, 
stabbed  to  the  heart  one  of  the  Mahomedan  minis- 
ters who  made  use  of  some  disrespectful  language 
towards  him.  On  being  asked,  how  he  presumed 
to  do  this  in  the  presence  of  his  sovereign,  he  an- 
swered in  the  very  words  almost  of  Rhoderic  Dhu, 

"  I  right  my  wrongs  where  they  are  given, 
Though  it  were  in  the  court  of  Heaven !  " 

The  throne  projects  into  the  hall  from  the  back, 
in  front  of  the  large  central  arch ;  it  is  raised  ten  feet 
above  the  floor,  and  is  about  ten  wide,  and  covered 
by  a  marble  canopy  supported  upon  four  marble 
pillars,  all  beautifully  inlaid  with  mosaic  work  ex- 
quisitely finished,  but  now  much  dilapidated.  The 
room,  or  recess,  in  which  the  throne  stands,  is  open 


to  the  front,  and  about  fifteen  feet  wide,  and  six 
deep.  There  is  a  door  at  the  back,  by  which  the 
Emperor  entered  from  his  private  apartments,  and 
one  on  his  left,  from  which  his  prime  minister  or 
chief  officer  of  state  approached  the  throne  by  a 
flight  of  steps  leading  into  the  hall.  In  front  of  the 
throne,  and  raised  some  three  feet  above  the  floor,  is 
a  fine  large  slab  of  white  marble,  on  which  one  of 
the  secretaries  stood  during  the  hours  of  audience,  to 
hand  up  to  the  throne  any  petitions  that  were  pre- 
sented, and  to  receive  and  convey  commands.  As  the 
people  approached  over  the  intervening  one  hundred 
and  twenty  yards,  between  the  gateway  and  the  hall 
of  audience,  they  were  made  to  bow  down  lower  and 
lower  to  the  figure  of  the  Emperor,  as  he  sat  upon 
his  throne  without  deigning  to  show,  by  any  motion 
of  limb  or  muscle,  that  he  was  really  made  of  flesh 
and  blood,  and  not  cut  out  of  the  marble  he  sat 
upon ! 

The  marble  walls  on  three  sides  of  this  recess  are 
inlaid  with  precious  stones,  representing  some  of  the 
most  beautiful  birds  and  flowers  of  India,  according  to 
the  boundaries  of  the  country  when  Shah  Jehan  built 
this  palace,  which  included  Cabool  and  Cashmere,  after- 
wards severed  from  it  on  the  invasion  of  Nadir  Shah. 
On  the  upper  part  of  the  back  wall  is  represented, 
in  the  same  precious  stones,  and  in  a  graceful  atti- 
tude, an  European  in  a  kind  of  Spanish  costume, 
playing  upon  his  guitar,  and  in  the  character  of  Or- 
pheus, charming  the  birds  and  beasts  which  he  first 

T  2 


taught  the  people  of  India  so  well  to  represent  in 
this  manner.  This  I  have  no  doubt  was  intended 
by  Austin  de  Bardeux  for  himself.  The  man  from 
Sheraz,  Amanut  Khan,  who  designed  all  the  noble 
Tagra  characters  in  which  the  passages  from  the 
Koran  are  inscribed  upon  different  parts  of  the  Taj 
at  Agra,  was  permitted  to  place  his  own  name  in 
the  same  bold  characters  on  the  right  hand  side  as  we 
enter  the  tomb  of  the  Emperor  and  his  queen.  It 
is  inscribed  after  the  date  thus: — a. H.  1048,  "The 
humble  Faqueer  Amanut  Khan  of  Sheraz."  Austin 
was  a  still  greater  favourite  than  Amanut  Khan ; 
and  the  Emperor  Shah  Jehan,  no  doubt,  readily 
acceded  to  his  wishes  to  have  himself  represented 
in  what  appeared  to  him  and  his  courtiers  so  beau- 
tiful a  picture. 

The  Dewani  Khas,  or  hall  of  private  audience,  is 
a  much  more  splendid  building  than  the  other,  from 
its  richer  materials,  being  all  built  of  white  marble 
beautifully  ornamented.  The  roof  is  supported  upon 
colonnades  of  marble  pillars.  The  throne  stands  in 
the  centre  of  this  hall,  and  is  ascended  by  steps,  and 
covered  by  a  canopy,  ^vith  four  artificial  peacocks  on 
the  four  corners.  Here,  thought  I,  as  I  entered  this 
apartment,  sat  Ourungzebe  when  he  ordered  the 
assassination  of  his  brothers  Dara  and  Moorad,  and 
the  imprisonment  and  destruction  by  slow  poison  of 
his  son  Mahomed,  who  had  so  often  fought  bravely 
by  his  side  in  battle.  Here  also,  but  a  few  months 
before,  sat  the  great  Shah  Jehan,  to  receive  the  in- 

THE   HALL   OF   HISTORY.  277 

sclent  commands  of  this  same  grandson,  Mahomed, 
when  flushed  with  victory;  and  to  offer  him  the 
throne,  merely  to  disappoint  the  hopes  of  the  youth's 
father,  Ourungzebe.  Here  stood  in  chains  the 
graceful  Sooleeman,  to  receive  his  sentence  of  death 
by  slow  poison  with  his  poor  young  brother,  Sipeher 
Shekoh,  who  had  shared  all  his  father's  toils  and 
dangers,  and  witnessed  his  brutal  murder!  Here 
sat  Mahomed  Shah,  bandying  compliments  with  his 
ferocious  conqueror.  Nadir  Shah,  who  had  destroyed 
his  armies,  plundered  his  treasury,  stripped  his  throne, 
and  ordered  the  murder  of  a  hundred  thousand  of 
the  helpless  inhabitants  of  his  capital,  men,  women, 
and  children,  in  a  general  massacre.  The  bodies  of 
these  people  lay  in  the  streets  tainting  the  air,  while 
the  two  sovereigns  sat  here  sipping  their  coffee,  and 
swearing  to  the  most  deliberate  lies  in  the  name  of 
their  God,  prophet,  and  Koran ; — all  are  now  dust ; 
that  of  the  oppressor  undistinguishable  from  that  of 
the  oppressed.*     Within  this  apartment  and  over  the 

*  It  is  related  that  the  coffee  was  dehvered  to  the  two  sove- 
reigns in  this  room  upon  a  gold  salver,  by  the  most  polished  gen- 
tleman of  the  court.  His  motions,  as  he  entered  the  gorgeous 
apartment,  amidst  the  splendid  trains  of  the  two  Emperors,  were 
watched  with  great  anxiety ;  if  he  presented  the  coffee  first  to  his 
own  master,  the  furious  conqueror,  before  whom  the  sovereign  of 
India  and  all  his  courtiers  trembled,  might  order  him  to  instant 
execution  ;  if  he  presented  it  to  Nadir  first,  he  would  insult  his 
own  sovereign  out  of  fear  of  the  stranger.  To  the  astonishment 
of  all,  he  walked  up  with  a  steady  step  direct  to  his  own  master. 
**  I  cannot,"  said  he,  "  aspire  to  the  honour  of  presenting  the 


side  arches  at  one  end,  is  inscribed  in  black  letters 
the  celebrated  couplet,  "  If  there  be  a  paradise  on 
the  face  of  the  earth,  it  is  this — it  is  this — it  is  this." 
Anything  more  unlike  paradise  than  this  place  now 
is,  can  hardly  be  conceived.  Here  are  crowded 
together  twelve  hundred  Mngs  and  queens,  (for  all 
the  descendants  of  the  Emperors  assume  the  title  of 
Sulateens,  the  plural  of  Sultans,)  literally  eating  each 
other  up. 

Government,  from  motives  of  benevolence,  has 
here  attempted  to  apportion  out  the  pension  they 
assign  to  the  Emperor,  to  the  different  members  of 
his  great  family  circle,  who  are  to  be  subsisted  upon 
it,  instead  of  leaving  it  to  his  own  discretion.  This 
has  perhaps  tended  to  prevent  the  family  from  throw- 
ing off  its  useless  members,  to  mix  with  the  common 
herd  ;  and  to  make  the  population  press  against  the 
means  of  subsistence  within  these  walls.  Kings  and 
queens  of  the  house  of  Tymour  are  to  be  found 
lying  about  in  scores,  like  broods  of  vermin,  without, 
food  to  eat  or  clothes  to  cover  their  nakedness.  It 
has  been  proposed  by  some,  to  establish  colleges  for 

cup  to  the  king  of  kings,  your  majesty's  honoured  guest,  nor 
would  your  majesty  wish  that  any  hand  but  your  own  should 
do  so."  The  Emperor  took  the  cup  from  the  golden  salver, 
and  presented  it  to  Nadir  Shah,  who  said  with  a  smile  as  he  took 
it,  "  Had  all  your  officers  known  and  done  their  duty  like  this 
man,  you  had  never,  my  good  cousin,  seen  me  and  my  Kuzul 
Bashus  at  Delhi ;  take  care  of  him  for  your  own  sake,  and  get 
round  you  as  many  like  him  as  you  can." 


them  in  the  palace,  to  fit  them  by  education  for  high 
offices  under  our  government.  Were  this  done, 
this  pensioned  family,  which  never  can  possibly  feel 
well  affected  towards  our  government  or  any  govern- 
ment but  their  own,  would  alone  send  out  men 
enough  to  fill  all  the  civil  offices  open  to  the  natives 
of  the  country,  to  the  exclusion  of  the  members  of 
the  humbler  but  better  affected  families  of  Maho- 
medans  and  Hindoos.  If  they  obtained  the  offices  they 
would  be  educated  for,  the  evil  to  government  and 
to  society  would  be  very  great ;  and  if  they  did  not 
get  them,  the  evil  would  be  great  to  themselves, 
since  they  would  be  encouraged  to  entertain  hopes 
that  could  not  be  realized.  Better  let  them  shift 
for  themselves  and  quietly  sink  among  the  crowd. 
They  would  only  become  rallying  points  for  the  dis- 
satisfaction and  multiplied  sources  of  disaffection ; 
everywhere  doing  mischief,  and  nowhere  doing  good. 
Let  loose  upon  society,  they  everywhere  disgust 
people  by  their  insolence  and  knavery,  against  which 
we  are  every  day  required  to  protect  the  people  by 
our  interference  ;  the  prestige  of  their  name  will  by 
degrees  diminish,  and  they  will  sink  by-and-by  into 
utter  insignificance.  During  his  stay  at  Jubbulpore, 
Kambuksh,  the  nephew  of  the  Emperor,  whom  I 
have  already  mentioned  as  the  most  sensible  member 
of  the  family,  did  an  infinite  deal  of  good  by  cheating 
almost  all  the  tradesmen  of  the  town.  Till  he  came 
down  among  them  with  all  his  ragamuffins  from 
Delhi,  men  thought  the  Padshahs  and  their  progeny 


must  be  something  superhuman,  something  not  to  be 
spoken  of,  much  less  approached  without  reverence ; 
during  the  latter  part  of  his  stay,  my  court  was 
crowded  with  complaints ;  and  no  one  has  ever  since 
heard  a  scion  of  the  house  of  Tymour  spoken  of  but 
as  a  thing  to  be  avoided — a  person  more  prone  than 
others  to  take  in  his  neighbours.  One  of  these  kings, 
who  has  not  more  than  ten  shillings  a  month  to 
subsist  himself  and  family  upon  will,  in  writing  to 
the  representative  of  the  British  government,  address 
him  as  "  Fid  wee  khass,"  our  particular  slave  ;  and 
be  addressed  in  reply  with,  "  Your  majesty's  com- 
mands have  been  received  by  your  slave  !" 

I  visited  the  college,  which  is  in  the  mausoleum 
of  Ghazeeood  Deen,  a  fine  building,  with  its  usual 
accompaniment  of  a  mosque  and  a  college.  The 
slab  that  covers  the  grave,  and  the  marble  screens 
that  surround  the  ground  that  contain  it,  are  amongst 
the  most  richly  cut  things  that  I  have  seen.  The 
learned  and  pious  Mahomedans  in  the  institution 
told  me  in  my  morning  visit,  that  there  should 
always  be  a  small  hollow  in  the  top  of  marble  slabs 
like  that  on  Jehanara's  whenever  any  of  them  were 
placed  over  graves,  in  order  to  admit  water,  earth, 
and  grass ;  but  that,  strictly  speaking,  no  slab  should 
be  allowed  to  cover  the  grave,  as  it  could  not  fail  to 
be  in  the  way  of  the  dead  when  summoned  to  get  up 
by  the  trumpet  of  Israeel  on  the  day  of  the  resur- 
rection!  "  Earthly  pride,"  said  they,  "  has  violated 
this  rule ;  and  now  everybody  that  can  afford  it  gets 

END    OF    THE    WORLD.  281 

a  marble  slab  put  over  his  grave.  But  it  is  not  only 
in  this  that  men  have  been  falling  off  from  the  letter 
and  spirit  of  the  law ;  for  we  now  hear  drums  beat- 
ing and  trumpets  sounding  even  among  the  tombs  of 
the  saints,  a  thing  that  our  forefathers  would  not 
have  considered  possible !  In  former  days  it  was 
only  a  prophet  like  Moses,  Jesus,  or  Mahomed,  that 
was  suffered  to  have  a  stone  placed  over  his  head." 
I  asked  them  how  it  was  that  the  people  crowded  to 
the  tombs  of  their  saints,  as  I  saw  them  at  that  of 
Kohtab  Shah,  in  old  Delhi,  on  the  Beswunt,  a  Hindoo 
festival.  "  It  only  shows,"  said  they,  "  that  the  end 
of  the  world  is  approaching.  Are  we  not  divided 
into  seventy-two  sects  among  ourselves ;  all  falling 
off  into  Hindooism,  and  every  day  committing  greater 
and  greater  follies  ?  these  are  the  manifest  signs  long 
ago  pointed  out  by  wise  and  holy  men,  as  indicating 
the  approach  of  the  last  day  /"  A  man  might  make  a 
curious  book  out  of  the  indications  of  the  end  of  the 
world,  according  to  the  notions  of  different  people  or 
different  individuals.  The  Hindoos  have  had  many 
different  worlds  or  ages ;  and  the  change  from  the 
good  to  the  bad,  or  the  golden  to  the  iron  age,  is 
considered  to  have  been  indicated  by  a  thousand 
curious  incidents.  I  one  day  asked  an  old  Hindoo 
priest,  a  very  worthy  man,  what  made  the  five  heroes 
of  the  Mahabhurut,  the  demigod  brothers  of  Indian 
story,  leave  the  plains  and  bury  themselves  no  one 
knew  where,  in  the  eternal  snows  of  the  Himmalah 
mountains  ?     "  Why,  sir,"  said  he,  "  there  is  no  ques- 



tion  about  that.  Judishter,  the  eldest,  who  reigned 
quietly  at  Delhi  after  the  long  war,  one  day  sat  down 
to  dinner  with  his  four  brothers  and  their  single  wife 
Dorputee,  for  you  know,  sir,  they  had  only  one 
among  them  all.  The  king  said  grace,  and  the  covers 
were  removed :  when  to  their  utter  consternation  a 
full  grown  fly  was  seen  seated  upon  the  dish  of  rice 
that  stood  before  his  majesty !  Judishter  rose  in 
consternation.  '  When  flies  begin  to  blow  upon 
men's  dinners,'  said  his  majesty,  *  you  may  be  sure,  my 
brothers,  that  the  end  of  the  world  is  near — the 
golden  age  is  gone — the  iron  one  has  commenced, 
and  we  must  all  be  off;  the  plains  of  India  are  no 
longer  a  fit  abode  for  gentlemen.'  Without  taking 
one  morsel  of  food,"  added  the  priest,  "  they  set  out, 
and  were  never  after  seen  or  heard  of.  They  were, 
however,  traced  by  manifest  supernatural  signs  up 
through  the  valley  of  the  Ganges  to  the  snow  tops 
of  the  Himmalah,  in  which  they  no  doubt  left  their 
mortal  coils."  They  seem  to  feel  a  singular  attach- 
ment for  the  birthplace  of  their  great  progenitrix ; 
for  no  place  in  the  world  is,  I  suppose,  more  infested 
by  them  than  Delhi  at  present ;  and  there  a  dish  of 
rice  without  a  fly  would,  in  the  iron,  be  as  rare  a 
thing  as  a  dish  with  one  in  the  golden  age. 

Mahomedans  in  India  sigh  for  the  restoration  of 
the  old  Mahomedan  regime,  not  from  any  particular 
attachment  to  the  descendants  of  Tymour,  but  with 
precisely  the  same  feelings  that  Whigs  and  Tories 
sigh  for  the   return  to  power    of  their  respective 


parties  in  England ;  it  would  give  them  all  the  offices 
in  a  country  where  office  is  everything.  Among 
them,  as  among  ourselves,  every  man  is  disposed  to 
rate  his  own  abilities  highly,  and  to  have  a  good  deal 
of  confidence  in  his  own  good  luck ;  and  all  think, 
that  if  the  field  were  once  opened  to  them  by  such  a 
change,  they  should  very  soon  be  able  to  find  good 
positions  for  themselves  and  their  children  in  it. 
Perhaps  there  are  few  communities  in  the  world, 
among  whom  education  is  more  generally  diffiised 
than  among  Mahomedans  in  India.  He  who  holds 
an  office  worth  twenty  rupees  a  month,  commonly 
gives  his  sons  an  education  equal  to  that  of  a  prime 
minister.  They  learn,  through  the  medium  of  the 
Arabic  and  Persian  languages,  what  young  men  in 
our  colleges  learn  through  those  of  the  Greek  and 
Latin — that  is,  grammar,  rhetoric,  and  logic.  After 
his  seven  years  of  study,  the  young  Mahomedan  binds 
his  turban  upon  a  head  almost  as  well  filled  with 
the  things  which  appertain  to  these  three  branches  of 
knowledge,  as  the  young  man  raw  from  Oxford — he 
will  talk  as  fluently  about  Socrates  and  Aristotle,  Plato 
and  Hippocrates,  Galen  and  Avicenna,  alias  Socrate, 
Aristotalees,  Aflaton,  Bocrate,  Jaleenoos,  and  Booalee 
Sehna ;  and  what  is  much  to  his  advantage  in  India, 
the  languages  in  which  he  has  learnt  what  he  knows 
are  those  which  he  most  requires  through  life.  He 
therefore  thinks  himself  as  well  fitted  to  fill  the  high 
offices  which  are  now  filled  exclusively  by  Europeans, 
and  naturally  enough  wishes   the  establishments  of 


that  power  would  open  them  to  him.  On  the 
faculties  and  operations  of  the  human  mind  on  man's 
passions  and  affections,  and  his  duties  in  all  relations 
of  life,  the  works  of  Imam  Mahomed  Ghuzallee 
and  Nirseerooddeen  Jansee,  hardly  yield  to  those 
of  Plato  and  Aristotle,  or  to  those  of  any  other 
authors  who  have  ever  written  on  the  same  subjects 
in  any  country.  These  works,  the  Aheaololoom, 
epitomised  into  the  Keemeeai  Saadul,  and  the  Akh- 
laki  Naseree,  with  the  didactic  poems  of  Sadee,  are 
the  great  "  Pierian  spring"  of  moral  instruction,  from 
which  the  Mahomedan  delights  to  "  drink  deep" 
from  infancy  to  old  age,  and  a  better  spring  it  would 
be  difficult  to  find  in  the  works  of  any  other  three 

It  is  not  only  the  desire  for  office  that  makes  the 
educated  Mahomedans  cherish  the  recollection  of  the 
old  regime  in  Hindoostan  ;  they  say,  "  We  pray  every 
night  for  the  Emperor  and  his  family,  because  our 
forefathers  ate  of  the  salt  of  his  forefathers" — that  is, 
our  ancestors  were  in  the  service  of  his  ancestors ;  and, 
consequently,  were  of  the  aristocracy  of  the  country. 
Whether  they  really  were  so  matters  not ;  they 
persuade  themselves  or  their  children  that  they  were. 
This  is  a  very  common  and  a  very  innocent  sort 
of  vanity.  We  often  find  Englishmen  in  India, 
and  I  suppose  in  all  the  rest  of  our  foreign  settle- 
ments, sporting  high  Tory  opinions  and  feelings, 
merely  with  a  view  to  have  it  supposed,  that  their 
families  are,  or  at  some  time  were,  among  the  am- 


tocracy  of  the  land.  To  express  a  wish  for  Conser- 
vative predominance,  is  the  same  thing  with  them, 
as  to  express  a  wish  for  the  promotion  in  the  army, 
navy,  or  church,  of  some  of  their  near  relations ;  and 
thus  to  indicate,  that  they  are  among  the  privileged 
class  whose  wishes  the  Tories  would  be  obliged  to 
consult  were  they  in  power. 

Man  is  indeed  "  fearfully  and  wonderfully  made ;" 
to  be  fitted  himself  for  action  in  the  world,  or  for 
directing  ably  the  actions  of  others,  it  is  indispen- 
sably necessary,  that  he  should  mix  freely  from  his 
youth  up  with  his  fellow  men.  I  have  elsewhere 
mentioned,  that  the  state  of  imbecility  to  which  a 
man  of  naturally  average  powers  of  intellect  may  be 
reduced  when  brought  up  with  his  mother  in  the 
seraglio,  is  inconceivable  to  those  who  have  not  had 
opportunities  of  observing  it.  The  poor  old  Emperor 
of  Delhi,  to  whom  so  many  millions  look  up,  is  an 
instance.  A  more  venerable  looking  man  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  conceive ;  and  had  he  been  educated  and 
brought  up  with  his  fellow  men,  he  would  no  doubt 
have  had  a  mind  worthy  of  his  person.  As  it  is,  he 
has  never  been  anything  but  a  baby.  Rajah  Jewun 
Ram,  an  excellent  portrait-painter,  and  a  very 
honest  and  agreeable  person,  was  lately  employed  to 
take  the  Emperor's  portrait.  After  the  first  few 
sittings,  the  picture  was  taken  into  the  seraglio  to  the 
ladies.  The  next  time  he  came,  the  Emperor  re- 
quested him  to  remove  the  great  blotch  from  under 
the  nose,     "  May  it  please  your  majesty,   it  is  im- 


possible  to  draw  any  person  without  a  shadow ;  and 
I  hope  many  millions  will  long  continue  to  repose 
under  that  of  your  majesty."     ''  True,  Rajah,"  said 
his  majesty,  "  men  must  have  shadows ;  but  there  is 
surely  no  necessity  for   placing  them  immediately 
under  their  noses  !     The  ladies  will  not  allow  mine 
to  be  put  there  ;  they  say  it  looks  as  if  I  had  been 
taking  snuiF  all  my  life ;  and  it  certainly  has  a  most 
filthy  appearance  ;  besides,  it  is  all  awry,  as  I  told 
you  when  you  began  upon  it !"  The  Rajah  was  obliged 
to  remove  from  under  the  imperial,  and  certainly  very 
noble  nose,  the  shadow  which  he  had  thought  worth 
all  the  rest  of  the  picture.     Queen  Elizabeth  is  said, 
by  an    edict,   to  have  commanded  all  artists  who 
should  paint  her  likeness,  "  to  place  her  in  a  garden 
with  a  full  light  upon  her,  and  the  painter  to  put 
ant/  shadow  in  her  face  at  his  peril !"     The  next  time 
the  Rajah  came,  the  Emperor  took  the  opportunity 
of  consulting  him  upon  a  subject  that  had  given  him 
a  good  deal  of  anxiety  for  many  months, — the  dis- 
missal of  one  of  his  personal  servants  who  had  be- 
come   negligent  and  disrespectful.     He   first   took 
care  that  no  one  should  be  within  hearing,  and  then 
whispered  in  the  artist's  ear,  that  he  wished  to  dis- 
miss this  man.     The   Rajah  said  carelessly,  as  he 
looked  from  the  imperial  head  to  the  canvass,  "  Why 
does  your  majesty  not  discharge  the  man  if  he  dis- 
pleases you  ?"     "  Why  do  I  not  discharge  him  !     I 
wish  to  do  so,   of  course,  and  have  wished   to  do 
so   for  many    months;    but  kooch  tvdbeer  chaheea. 


some  plan  of  operations  must  be  devised."  "  If  yonr 
majesty  dislikes  the  man,  you  have  only  to  order  him 
outside  the  gates  of  the  palace,  and  you  are  relieved 
from  his  presence  at  once."  "  True,  man,  I  am  re- 
lieved from  his  presence,  but  his  enchantments  may 
still  reach  me ;  it  is  them  that  I  most  dread — he 
keeps  me  in  a  continual  state  of  alarm ;  and  I  would 
give  anything  to  get  him  away  in  good  humour  !" 

When  the  Rajah  returned  to  Meerut,  he  received 
e  visit  from  one  of  the  Emperor's  sons  or  nephews, 
who  wanted  to  see  the  place.  His  tents  were  pitched 
upon  the  plain  not  far  from  the  theatre ;  he  arrived 
in  the  evening,  and  there  happened  to  be  a  play  that 
night.  Several  times  during  the  night  he  got  a 
message  from  the  prince  to  say,  that  the  ground  near 
his  tents  were  haunted  by  all  manner  of  devils. 
The  Rajah  sent  to  assure  him,  that  this  could  not 
possibly  be  the  case.  At  last  a  man  came  about 
midnight,  to  say  that  the  prince  could  stand  it  no 
longer,  and  had  given  orders  to  prepare  for  his  im- 
mediate return  to  Delhi;  for  the  devils  were  in- 
creasing so  rapidly,  that  they  must  all  be  inevitably 
devoured  before  daybreak  if  they  remained.  The 
Rajah  now  went  to  the  prince's  camp,  where  he 
found  him  and  his  followers  in  a  state  of  utter  con- 
sternation, looking  towards  the  theatre.  The  last 
carriages  were  leaving  the  theatre,  and  going  across 
the  plain ;  and  these  silly  people  had  taken  them  all 
for  devils ! 

The  present  pensioned  imperial  family  of  Delhi 


are  commonly  considered  to  be  of  the  house  of 
Tymour  Lung,  (the  lame,)  because  Babur,  the  real 
founder  of  the  dynasty,  was  descended  from  him  in 
the  seventh  stage.  Tymour  merely  made  a  preda- 
tory inroad  into  India,  to  kill  a  few  million  of  un- 
believers^  plunder  the  country  of  all  the  moveable  valu- 
ables he  and  his  soldiers  could  collect;  and  take 
back  into  slavery  all  the  best  artificers  of  all  kinds 
that  they  could  lay  their  hands  upon.  He  left  no 
one  to  represent  him  in  India ;  he  claimed  no  sove- 
reignty, and  founded  no  dynasty  there.  There  is  no 
doubt  much  in  the  prestige  of  a  name  ;  and  though 
six  generations  had  passed  away,  the  people  of  north- 
ern India  still  trembled  at  that  of  the  lame  monster. 
Babur  wished  to  impress  upon  the  minds  of  the 
people  the  notion,  that  he  had  at  his  back,  the  same 
army  of  demons  that  Tymour  commanded ;  and  he 
boasted  his  descent  from  him  for  the  same  motive 
that  Alexander  boasted  his,  from  the  horned  and 
cloven-footed  god  of  the  Egyptian  desert,  as  some- 
thing to  sanctify  all  enterprizes,  justify  the  use  of  all 
means,  and  carry  before  him  the  belief  in  his  in- 
vincibility ! 

Babur  was  an  admirable  chief — a  fit  founder  of  a 
great  dynasty — a  very  proper  object  for  the  imagina- 
tions of  future  generations  to  dwell  upon,  though  not 
quitesogood  as  hisgrandson,  the  great  Akbar.  Tymour 
was  a  ferocious  monster,  who  knew  how  to  organize 
and  command  the  set  of  demons  who  composed  his 
army,  and  how  best  to  direct  them  for  the  destruc- 


tion  of  the  civilized  portion  of  mankind  and  their 
works ;  but  who  knew  nothing  else.  In  his  invasion 
of  India,  he  caused  the  people  of  the  towns  and 
villages  through  which  he  passed,  to  be  all  massacred 
without  regard  to  religion,  age,  or  sex.  If  the  sol- 
diers in  the  town  resisted,  the  people  were  all  mur- 
dered, because  they  did  so  ;  if  they  did  not,  the 
people  were  considered  to  have  forfeited  their  lives 
to  their  conqueror  for  being  conquered ;  and  told  to 
purchase  them  by  the  surrender  of  all  their  property, 
the  value  of  which  was  estimated  by  commissaries 
appointed  for  the  purpose.  The  price  was  always 
more  than  they  could  pay ;  and  after  torturing  a 
certain  number  to  death  in  the  attempt  to  screw  the 
sum  out  of  them,  the  troops  were  let  in  to  murder 
the  rest ;  so  that  no  city,  town,  or  village  escaped ; 
and  the  very  grain  collected  for  the  army  over  and 
above  what  they  could  consume  at  any  stage,  was 
burned,  lest  it  might  relieve  some  hungry  infidel  of 
the  country  who  had  escaped  from  the  general 

All  the  soldiers,  high  and  low,  were  murdered 
when  taken  prisoners,  as  a  matter  of  course  ;  but  the 
officers  and  soldiers  of  Tymour's  army,  after  taking 
all  the  valuable  moveables,  thought  they  might  be 
able  to  find  a  market  for  the  artificers  by  whom  they 
were  made,  and  their  families ;  and  they  collected 
together  an  immense  number  of  men,  women,  and 
children.  All  who  asked  for  mercy  pretended  to  be 
able  to  make  something  that  these  Tartars  had  taken 

VOL.    II.  u 


a  liking  to.  On  coming  before  Delhi,  Tymour's 
army  encamped  on  the  opposite  or  left  bank  of  the 
river  Jumna ;  and  here  he  learnt,  that  his  soldiers 
had  collected  together  above  one  hundred  thousand 
of  these  artificers,  besides  their  women  and  children. 
There  were  no  soldiers  among  them;  but  Tymour 
thought  it  might  be  troublesome  either  to  keep 
them  or  to  turn  them  away  without  their  women 
and  children ;  and  still  more  so  to  make  his  soldiers 
send  away  these  women  and  children  immediately. 
He  asked  whether  the  prisoners  were  not  for  the 
most  part  unheliemrs  in  his  prophet  Mahomed ;  and 
being  told  that  the  majority  were  Hindoos,  he  gave 
orders,  that  every  man  should  be  put  to  death ;  and 
that  any  officer  or  soldier  who  refused  or  delayed  to 
kill  or  have  killed  all  such  men,  should  suifer  death. 
"  As  soon  as  this  order  was  made  known,"  says 
Tymour's  historian,  and  great  eulogist,  "  the  officers 
and  soldiers  began  to  put  it  in  execution  ;  and  in  less 
than  one  hour  one  hundred  thousand  prisoners,  accord- 
ing to  the  smallest  computation,  were  put  to  death, 
and  their  bodies  thrown  into  the  river  Jumna.  Among 
the  rest,  Moolana  Nuseerod  Deen  Amor,  one  of  the 
most  venerable  doctors  of  the  court,  who  would 
never  consent  so  much  as  to  kill  a  single  sheep,  was 
constrained  to  order  fifteen  slaves,  whom  he  had  in 
his  tents,  to  be  slain.  Tymour  then  gave  orders 
that  one-tenth  of  his  soldiers  should  keep  watch  over 
the  Indian  women,  children,  and  camels  taken  in 
the  pillage."     The  city  was  soon  after  taken,  and  the 


people  commanded,  as  usual,  to  purchase  their  lives 
by  the  surrender  of  their  property — troops  were  sent 
in  to  take  it — numbers  were  tortured  to  death — and 
then  the  usual  pillage  and  massacre  of  the  whole 
people  followed  without  regard  to  religion,  age,  or 
sex ;  and  about  a  hundred  thousand  more  of  inno- 
cent and  unoffending  people  were  murdered.  The 
troops  next  massacred  the  inhabitants  of  the  old  city, 
which  had  become  crowded  with  fugitives  from  the 
new;  the  last  remnant  took  refuge  in  a  mosque, 
where  two  of  Tymour  s  most  distinguished  generals 
rushed  in  upon  them  at  the  head  of  five  hundred 
soldiers ;  and  as  the  amiable  historian  tells  us,  "  sent 
to  the  abyss  of  hell  the  souls  of  these  infidels,  of 
whose  heads  they  erected  towers,  and  gave  their 
bodies  for  food  to  birds  and  beasts  of  prey !"  Being 
at  last  tired  of  slaughter,  the  soldiers  made  slaves  of 
the  survivors,  aud  drove  them  out  in  chains ;  and  as 
they  passed,  the  officers  were  ordered  to  select  any 
they  liked  except  the  masons ;  whom  Tymour  re- 
quired to  build  for  him,  at  Samarcand,  a  church 
similar  to  that  of  Altumsh,  in  old  Delhi. 

He  now  set  out  to  take  Meerut,  which  was  at 
that  time  a  fortified  town  of  much  note.  The  people 
determined  to  defend  themselves ;  and  happened  to 
say,  that  Turmachurn  Khan,  who  invaded  India  at 
the  head  of  a  similar  body  of  Tartars  a  century 
before,  had  been  unable  to  take  the  place.  This  so 
incensed  Tymour,  that  he  brought  all  his  forces  to 
bear  on  Meerut,    took  the  place,  and  having  had 

u  2 


all  the  Hindoo  men  found  in  it  skinned  alive,  he 
distributed  their  wives  and  children  among  his 
soldiers  as  slaves.  He  now  sent  out  a  division  of 
his  army  to  murder  unbelievers,  and  collect  plunder, 
over  the  cultivated  plains  between  the  Ganges  and 
Jumna,  while  he  led  the  main  body  on  the  same 
pious  duty  along  the  hills  from  Hurdwar,  on  the 
Ganges,  to  the  west.  Having  massacred  a  few  thou- 
sands of  the  hill  people,  Tymour  read  the  noon 
prayer,  and  returned  thanks  to  God  for  the  victories 
he  had  gained,  and  the  numbers  he  had  murdered 
through  his  goodness ;  and  told  his  admiring  army, 
"  that  a  religious  war  like  this  produced  two  great 
advantages :  it  secured  eternal  happiness  in  heaven, 
and  a  good  store  of  valuable  spoils  on  earth — that 
his  design  in  all  the  fatigues  and  labours  which  he 
had  undertaken,  was  solely  to  render  hxm^el^ pleasi^ig 
to  God,  treasure  up  good  works  for  his  eternal  happi- 
ness, and  get  riches  to  bestow  npon  his  soldiers 
and  the  poor  !"  The  historian  makes  a  grave  remark 
upon  this  invasion.  "  The  Koran  declares,  that  the 
highest  glory  man  can  attain  in  this  world  is,  un- 
unquestionably,  that  of  waging  a  successful  war  in 
person  against  the  enemies  of  his  religion,  (no  mat- 
ter whether  those  against  whom  it  is  waged  happen 
ever  to  have  heard  of  this  religion  or  not.)  Mahomed 
inculcated  the  same  doctrine  in  his  discourses  with 
his  friends ;  and  in  consequence,  the  great  Tymour 
always  strove  to  exterminate  all  the  unbelievers,  with 
a  view  to  acquire  that  glory,  and  to  spread  the  re- 


nown  of  his  conquests  !  My  name,"  said  he,  "  has 
spread  terror  through  the  universe;  and  the  least 
motion  I  make,  is  capable  of  shaking  the  whole 
earth  !" 

Tymour  returned  to  his  capital  of  Samarcand,  in 
Transoxiana,  in  May,  1399.  His  army,  besides 
other  things  which  they  brought  frnm  India,  had  an 
immense  number  of  men,  women,  and  children, 
whom  they  had  reduced  to  slavery,  and  driven  along 
like  flocks  of  sheep  to  forage  for  their  subsistence  in 
the  countries  through  which  they  passed,  or  perish. 
After  the  murder  on  the  banks  of  the  Jumna  of  part 
of  the  multitude  they  had  collected  before  taking  the 
capital,  amounting  to  one  hundred  thousand  men, 
Tymour  was  obliged  to  assign  one-tenth  of  the  soldiers 
of  his  army  to  guard  what  were  left,  the  women  and 
children.  "  After  the  murder  in  the  capital  of  Delhi," 
says  the  historian,  an  eye  witness,  "  there  were  some 
soldiers  who  had  a  hundred  and  fifty  slaves,  men, 
women,  and  children,  whom  they  drove  out  of  the 
city  before  them ;  and  some  soldiers'  boys  had  twenty 
slaves  to  their  own  share."  On  reaching  Samarcand, 
they  employed  these  slaves  as  best  they  could ;  and 
Tymour  employed  his,  the  masons,  in  raising  his 
great  church  from  the  quarries  of  the  neighbouring 

In  October  following,  Tymour  led  this  army  of 
demons  over  the  rich  and  polished  countries  of 
Syria,  Natolia,  and  Georgia,  levelling  all  the  cities, 
towns,  and  villages,  and  massacreing  the  inhabitants 


without  any  regard  to  age  or  sex,  with  the  same 
amiable  view  of  correcting  the  notions  of  people  re- 
garding his  creed,  propitiating  the  Deity,  and  re- 
warding his  soldiers.  He  sent  to  the  Christian  in- 
jiahitants  of  Smyrna,  then  one  of  the  first  commer- 
cial cities  in  the  world,  a  message  by  one  of  his 
generals,  to  request  that  they  would  at  once  embrace 
Mahomedanism,  in  the  beauties  of  which  the  general 
and  his  soldiers  had  orders  generously  and  diligently 
to  instruct  them  !  They  refused,  and  Tymour  re- 
paired immediately  to  the  spot,  that  he  might  "  share 
in  the  merit  of  sending  their  souls  to  the  abyss 
of  hell."  Bajazet,  the  Turkish  emperor  of  Natolia, 
had  recently  terminated  an  unavailing  siege  of  seven 
years.  Tymour  took  the  city  in  fourteen  days, 
December,  1402;  had  every  man,  woman,  and  child 
that  he  found  in  it  murdered ;  and  caused  some  of 
the  heads  of  the  Christians  to  be  thrown  by  his 
balistas  or  catapultas  into  the  ships  that  had  come 
from  different  European  nations  to  their  succour. 
All  other  Christian  communities,  found  within  the 
wide  range  of  this  dreadful  tempest,  were  swept  off 
in  the  same  manner ;  nor  did  Mahomedan  commu- 
nities fare  better.  After  the  taking  of  Bagdad,  every 
Tartar  soldier  was  ordered  to  cut  off  and  bring  away 
the  head  of  one  or  more  prisoners,  because  some  of 
the  Tartar  soldiers  had  been  killed  in  the  attack ; 
^'  and  they  spared,"  says  the  historian,  "  neither  old 
men  of  fourscore,  nor  young  children  of  eight  years 
of  age ;  no  quarter   was   given  either    to   rich    or 


poor,  and  the  number  of  the  dead  was  so  great,  that 
they  could  not  be  counted ;  towers  were  made  of 
these  heads,  to  serve  as  an  example  to  posterity." 
Ninety  thousand  were  thus  murdered  in  cold  blood ; 
and  one  hundred  and  twenty  pyramids  were  made 
of  the  heads  for  trophies  !  Damascus,  Nice,  Aleppo, 
Sabaste,  and  all  the  other  rich  and  populous  cities  of 
Palestine,  Syria,  Asia-Minor,  and  Georgia,  then  the 
most  civilized  region  of  the  world,  shared  in  the 
same  fate;  all  were  reduced  to  ruins,  and  their 
people,  without  regard  to  religion,  age,  or  sex,  bar- 
barously and  brutally  murdered. 

In  the  beginning  of  1405,  this  man  recollected, 
that  among  the  many  millions  of  unbelieving  Chris- 
tians and  Hindoos,  "  whose  souls  he  had  sent  to 
the  abyss  of  hell,"  there  were  many  Mahomedans, 
who  had  no  doubt  whatever  in  the  divine  origin 
or  co-eternal  existence  of  the  Koran ;  and  as  their 
death  might,  perhaps,  not  have  been  altogether 
pleasing  to  his  god  and  his  prophet,  he  determined  to 
appease  them  both  by  undertaking  the  murder  of 
some  two  hundred  millions  of  industrious  and  un- 
offending Chinese;  among  whom  there  was  little 
chance  of  finding  one  man  who  had  ever  even  heard 
of  the  Koran,  much  less  believed  in  its  divinity  and 
co-eternity,  or  of  its  interpreter,  Mahomed.  At  the 
head  of  between  two  and  three  hundred  thousand 
well-mounted  Tartars,  and  their  followers,  he  de- 
parted from  his  capital  of  Samarcand,  on  the  8th  of 
January,  1405,  and  crossed  the  Jaxartes  on  the  ice— 


in  the  words  of  his  judicious  historian,  "he  thus 
generously  undertook  the  conquest  of  China,  which 
was  inhabited  only  by  unbelievers,  that  by  so  good 
a  work  he  might  atone  for  what  had  been  done 
amiss  in  other  wars,  in  which  the  blood  of  so  many 
of  the  faithful  had  been  shed."  "  As  all  my  vast 
conquests,"  said  Tymour  himself,  "have  caused  the 
destruction  of  a  good  many  of  the  faithful,  I  am  re- 
solved to  perform  some  good  action,  to  atone  for  the 
crimes  of  my  past  life ;  and  to  make  war  upon  the 
infidels,  and  exterminate  the  idolaters  of  China, 
which  cannot  be  done  without  very  great  strength  and 
power.  It  is  therefore  fitting,  my  dear  companions 
in  arms,  that  those  very  soldiers  who  were  the  in- 
struments whereby  those  my  faults  were  committed, 
should  be  the  means  by  which  I  work  out  my  re- 
pentance ;  and  that  they  should  march  into  China, 
to  acquire  for  themselves  and  their  Emperor  the 
merit  of  that  holy  war,  in  demolishing  the  temples  of 
these  unbelievers,  and  erecting  good  Mahomedan 
mosques  in  their  places.  By  this  means  we  shall 
obtain  pardon  for  all  our  sins,  for  the  holy  Koran 
assures  us  that  good  works  efface  the  sins  of  this 
world.  At  the  close  of  the  Emperor's  speech  the 
princes  of  the  blood  and  other  officers  of  rank,  be- 
sought God  to  bless  his  generous  undertaking,  unani- 
mously applauding  his  sentiments,  and  loading  him 
with  praises.  Let  the  Emperor  but  display  his 
standard,  and  we  will  follow  him  to  the  end  of  the 
world !"      Tymour    died    soon    after    crossing    the 

MERIT    OF    TYMOUR.  297 

Jaxartes,  on  the  first  of  April,  1405 ;  and  China  was 
saved  from  this  dreadful  scourge.  But  as  the  philo- 
sophical historian,  Shurfod  Deen,  profoundkj  observes, 
"  The  Koran  remarks,  that  if  any  one  in  his  pilgri- 
mage to  Mecca  should  be  surprised  by  death,  the 
merit  of  the  good  work  is  still  written  in  heaven  in 
his  name,  as  surely  as  if  he  had  had  the  good  fortune 
to  accomplish  it.  It  is  the  same  with  regard  to  the 
Ghazee,  (holy  war,)  where  an  eternal  merit  is  ac- 
quired by  troubles,  fatigues,  and  dangers ;  and  he 
who  dies  during  the  enterprise,  at  whatever  stage,  is 
deemed  to  have  completed  his  design."  Thus 
Tymour  the  lame  had  the  merit,  beyond  all  question 
of  doubt,  of  sending  to  the  abyss  of  hell  "  two  hun- 
dred millions  of  men,  women,  and  children,  for  not 
believing  in  a  certain  book,  of  which  they  had  never 
heard  or  read  ;  for  the  Tartars  had  not  become  Maho- 
medans  when  they  conquered  China  in  the  begin- 
ning of  the  thirteenth  century.  Indeed,  the  amiable 
and  profound  historian,  is  of  opinion,  after  the  most 
mature  deliberation,  "  that  God  himself  must  have 
arranged  all  this  in  favour  of  so  great  and  good  a 
prince ;  and  knowing  that  his  end  was  nigh,  inspired 
him  with  the  idea  of  undertaking  this  enterprise,  that 
he  might  have  the  merit  of  having  completed  it ; 
otherwise,  how  should  he  have  thought  of  leading 
out  his  army  in  the  dead  of  winter  to  cross  countries 
covered  with  ice  and  snow  ?" 

The  heir  to  the  throne,  the  Prince  Peer  Mahomed, 
was  absent  when  Tymour  died ;  but  his  wives  who 


had  accompanied  him  were  all  anxious  to  share  in 
the  merit  of  the  holy  undertaking ;  and  in  a  council 
of  the  chiefs  held  after  his  death,  the  opinions  of 
these  amiable  princesses  prevailed,  that  the  two 
hundred  millions  of  Chinese  ought  still  to  be  sent  to 
"  the  abyss  of  hell,"  since  it  had  been  the  earnest 
desire  of  their  deceased  husband,  and  must  un- 
doubtedly have  been  the  will  of  God,  to  send  them 
thither  without  delay !  Fortunately,  quarrels  soon 
arose  among  his  sons  and  grandsons  about  the  suc- 
cession, and  the  army  recrossed  the  Jaxartes,  still 
over  the  ice,  in  the  beginning  of  April ;  and  China 
was  saved  from  this  scourge.  Such  was  Tymour  the 
lame,  the  man  whose  greatness  and  goodness  are  to 
live  in  the  hearts  of  the  people  of  India,  nine-tenths 
of  whom  are  Hindoos ;  and  to  fill  them  to  overflowing 
with  love  and  gratitude  towards  his  descendants ! 

In  this  brief  sketch  will  perhaps  be  found  the 
true  history  of  the  origin  of  the  gypsies,  the  tide  of 
whose  immigration  begun  to  flow  over  all  parts  of 
Europe  immediately  after  the  return  of  Tymour 
from  India.  The  hundreds  of  thousands  of  slaves 
which  his  army  brought  from  India  in  men,  women, 
and  children,  were  cast  away  when  they  got  as  many 
as  they  liked  from  among  the  more  beautiful  and 
polished  inhabitants  of  the  cities  of  Palestine,  Syria, 
Asia-Minor,  and  Georgia,  which  were  all  one  after 
the  other  treated  in  the  same  manner  as  Delhi  had 
been.  The  Tartar  soldiers  had  no  time  to  settle 
down  and  employ  them  as  they  intended  for  their 

ORIGIN    OF   THE    GYPSIES.  299 

convenience ;  they  were  marched  off  to  ravage 
western  Asia,  in  October,  1399,  about  three  months 
after  their  return  from  India.  Tymour  reached 
Samarcand  in  the  middle  of  May ;  but  he  had  gone 
on  in  advance  of  his  army,  which  did  not  arrive  for 
some  time  after.  Being  cast  off,  the  slaves  from 
India  spread  over  those  countries  which  were  most 
likely  to  afford  them  the  means  of  subsistence,  as 
beggars  ;  for  they  knew  nothing  of  the  manners,  the 
arts,  or  the  language  of  those  among  whom  they 
were  thrown ;  and  as  Arabia,  Palestine,  Syria,  Ana- 
tolia, Georgia,  Circassia,  and  Russia,  had  been,  or 
were  being,  desolated  by  the  army  of  this  Tartar 
chief,  they  passed  into  Egypt  and  Bulgaria,  whence 
they  spread  over  all  other  countries.  Scattered 
over  the  face  of  these  countries,  they  found  small 
parties  of  vagrants  who  were  from  the  same  region 
as  themselves,  who  spoke  the  same  language,  and 
who  had  in  all  probability  been  drawn  away  by  the 
same  means,  of  armies  returning  from  the  invasion  of 
India.  Ghengis  Khan,  invaded  India  two  centuries 
before ;  his  descendant,  Turmachurn,  invaded  India 
in  1303,  and  must  have  taken  back  with  him  multi- 
tudes of  captives.  The  unhappy  prisoners  of  Tymour 
the  lame,  gathered  round  these  nuclei  as  the  only 
people  who  could  understand  or  sympathise  with 
them.  From  his  sixth  expedition  into  India,  Mahmood 
is  said  to  have  carried  back  with  him  to  Ghiznee, 
two  hundred  thousand  Hindoo  captives  in  a  state  of 
slavery,  a.d.  1011.     From  his  seventh  expedition  in 


1017,  his  army  of  one  hundred  and  forty  thousand 
fighting  men  returned  "  laden  with  Hindoo  captives, 
who  became  so  cheap,  that  a  Hindoo  slave  was 
valued  at  less  than  two  rupees  !"  Mahmood  made 
several  expiditions  to  the  west  immediately  after  his 
return  from  India,  in  the  same  manner  as  Tymour 
did  after  him ;  and  he  may  in  the  same  manner 
have  scattered  his  Indian  captives.  They  adopted 
the  habits  of  their  new  friends,  w^hich  are  indeed 
those  of  all  the  vagrant  tribes  of  India ;  and  they 
have  continued  to  preserve  them  to  the  present  day. 
I  have  compared  their  vocabularies  with  those  of 
India,  and  find  so  many  of  the  words  the  same,  that 
I  think  a  native  of  India  would,  even  in  the  present 
day,  be  able,  without  much  difficulty,  to  make  him- 
self understood  by  a  gang  of  gypsies  in  any  part  of 
Europe.  A  good  Christian  may  not  be  able  ex- 
actly to  understand  the  nature  of  the  merit  which 
Tamerlane  expected  to  acquire  from  sending  so  many 
unoffending  Chinese  to  the  abyss  of  hell.  According 
to  the  Mahomedan  creed,  God  has  vowed  "  to  fill  hell 
chock  full  of  men  and  genii."  Hence  his  reasons 
for  hardening  their  hearts  against  that  faith  in  the 
Koran  which  might  send  them  to  heaven  ;  and  which 
would,  they  think,  necessarily  follow  an  impartial 
examination  of  the  evidence  of  its  divinity  and  cer- 
tainty. Tamerlane  thought,  no  doubt,  that  it  would 
be  very  meritorious  on  his  part  to  assist  God  in  this 
his  labour  of  filling  the  great  abyss,  by  throwing  into 
it  all  the  existing  population  of  China;  while  he 


spread  over  their  land,  in  pastoral  tribes,  the  goodly 
seed  of  Mahomedanism,  which  would  give  him  a  rich 
supply  of  recruits  for  paradise. 

The  following  dialogue  took  place  one  day  be- 
tween me  and  the  Mooftee,  or  head  Mahomedan  law 
officer  of  one  of  our  regulation  courts. 

"  Does  it  not  seem  to  you  strange,  Mooftee  Sahib, 
that  your  prophet,  who,  according  to  your  notions, 
must  have  been  so  well  acquainted  with  the  universe, 
and  the  laws  that  govern  it,  should  not  have  revealed 
to  his  followers  some  great  truth  hitherto  unknown 
regarding  these  laws,  which  might  have  commanded 
their  belief,  and  *  that  of  all  future  generations,  in 
his  divine  mission  ?' " 

"  Not  at  all,"  said  the  Mooftee ;  "  they  would  pro- 
bably not  have  understood  him  ;  and  if  they  had, 
those  who  did  not  believe  in  what  he  did  actually 
reveal  to  them,  would  not  have  believed  in  him 
had  he  revealed  all  the  laws  that  govern  the  uni- 

"  And  why  should  they  not  have  believed  in 

"  Because  what  he  revealed  was  sufficient  to  con- 
vince all  men  whose  hearts  had  not  been  hardened 
to  unbelief.  God  said,  '  As  for  the  unbelievers,  it  is 
the  same  with  them,  whether  you  admonish  them  or 
do  not  admonish  them  ;  they  will  not  believe.  God 
hath  sealed  up  their  hearts,  their  ears,  and  their  eyes  ; 
and  a  grievous  punishment  awaits  them.'  "* 
*  See  Koran,  chap.  ii. 


"  And  why  were  the  hearts  of  any  men  thus 
hardened  to  unbelief,  when  by  unbelief  they  were  to 
incur  such  dreadful  penalties  ? " 

"  Because  they  were  otherwise  wicked  men." 

"  But  you  think,  of  course,  that  there  was  really 
much  of  good  in  the  revelations  of  your  prophet  ?" 

"  Of  course  we  do." 

"  And  that  those  who  believed  in  it  were  likely 
to  become  better  men  for  their  faith  ?" 

"  Assuredly." 

"  Then  why  harden  the  hearts  of  even  bad  men 
against  a  faith  that  might  make  them  good?" 

"  Has  not  God  said — '  If  we  had  pleased,  we  had 
certainly  given  unto  every  soul  its  direction ;  but 
the  word  which  hath  proceeded  from  me,  must  ne- 
cessarily be  fulfilled,  when  I  said,  Verily  I  will  fill 
hell  with  genii  and  men  altogether'^  And  again,  *  Had 
it  pleased  the  Lord  he  would  have  made  all  men  of 
one  religion ;  but  they  shall  not  cease  to  differ  among 
them,  unless  those  on  whom  the  Lord  shall  have 
mercy ;  and  unto  this  hath  he  created  them  ;  for  the 
word  of  thy  Lord  shall  be  fulfilled,  when  he  said, 
Verily^  I  will  fill  hell  altogether  with  genii  and 
men!  "  f 

"  You  all  believe  that  the  devil,  like  all  the  angels, 
was  made  of  fire?" 

"  Yes." 

"  And  that  he  was  doomed  to  hell  because  he 
*  See  Koran,  chap,  xxxii.  %  ^l^id*  chap.  xi. 



would  not  fall  down  and  worship  Adam,  who  was 
made  of  clay  ? " 

"  Yes,  God  commanded  him  to  bow  down  to 
Adam ;  and  when  he  did  not  do  as  he  was  bid,  God 
said,  *  Why,  Eblees,  what  hindered  thee  from  bow- 
ing down  to  Adam  as  the  other  angels  did?'  He 
replied,  '  It  is  not  fit  that  I  should  worship  man, 
whom  thou  hast  formed  of  dried  clay,  or  black  mud.' 
God  said,  '  Get  thee,  therefore,  hence,  for  thou  shalt 
be  pelted  with  stones ;  and  a  curse  shall  be  upon 
thee  till  the  day  of  judgment !'  The  devil  said,  *  O 
Lord,  give  me  respite  until  the  day  of  resurrection.' 
God  said,  *  Verily,  thou  shalt  be  respited  until  the 
appointed  time.' "  * 

"  And  does  it  not  appear  to  you,   Mooftee  Sahib, 
that  in  respiting  the  devil,  Eblees,  till  the  day  of 
resurrection,  some  injustice  was  done  to  the  children 
of  Adam?" 
"  How  ?" 

"  Because  he  replies,  '  0  Lord,  because  thou  hast 
seduced  me  I  will  surely  tempt  men  to  disobedience 
in  the  earth." 

"  No,  sir,  because  he  could  only  tempt  those  who 
were  predestined  to  go  astray,  for  he  adds,  '  I  will 
seduce  them  all,  except  such  of  them  as  shall  be  thy 
chosen  servants'  God  said,  "  This  is  the  right  way 
with  me.  Verily,  as  to  my  servants,  thou  shalt  have 
no  power  over  them ;  but  over  those  only  who  shall 
*  See  Koran,  chap.  xv. 


be  seduced,  and  who  shall  follow  thee ;  and  hell  is 
surely  denounced  unto  them  all.' "  * 

"  Then  you  think,  Mooftee  Sabib,  that  the  devil 
could  seduce  only  such  as  were  predestined  to  go 
astray,  and  who  would  have  gone  astray  whether  he 
the  devil  had  been  respited  or  not  ?" 

"  Certainly  I  do." 

"  Does  it  not  then  appear  to  you  that  it  is  as  un- 
just to  predestine  men  to  do  that  for  which  they  are 
to  be  sent  to  hell,  as  it  would  be  to  leave  them  all 
unguided  to  the  temptations  of  the  devil  ?" 

"  These  are  difficult  questions,"  replied  the  Mooftee, 
"  which  we  cimnot  venture  to  ask  even  ourselves. 
All  that  we  can  do  is  to  endeavour  to  understand 
what  is  written  in  the  holy  book,  and  act  accord- 
ing to  it.  God  made  us  all,  and  he  has  the  right  to 
do  what  he  pleases  with  what  he  has  made;  the 
potter  makes  two  vessels,  he  dashes  the  one  on  the 
ground,  but  the  other  he  sells  to  stand  in  the  palaces 
of  princes  !" 

"  But  a  pot  has  no  soul,  Mooftee  Sahib,  to  be 
roasted  to  all  eternity  in  hell !" 

*  "  This  is  a  revelation  of  the  most  mighty,  the  merciful  God  ; 
that  thou  mayest  warn  a  people  whose  fathers  were  not  warned, 
and  who  live  in  negligence.  Our  sentence  hath  justly  been  pro- 
nounced against  the  greater  part  of  them,  wherefore  they  shall 
not  believe.  It  shall  be  equal  unto  them  whether  thou  preach 
unto  them,  or  do  not  preach  unto  them  ;  they  shall  not  believe/' 
— Koran,  chap,  xxxvi. 


"  True,  sir;  these  are  questions  beyond  the  reach 
of  human  understanding." 

"  How  often  do  you  read  over  the  Koran  ?"  * 

"  I  read  the  whole  over  about  three  times  a 
month,"  replied  the  Mooftee. 

I  mentioned  this  conversation  one  day  to  the 
Nawab  Aleeoodeen,  a  most  estimable  old  gentleman 
of  seventy  years  of  age,  who  resides  at  Moradabad, 
and  asked  him  whether  he  did  not  think  it  a  sin- 
gular omission  on  the  part  of  Mahomed,  after  his 
journey  to  heaven,  not  to  tell  mankind  some  of  the 
truths  that  have  since  been  discovered  regarding  the 
nature  of  the  bodies  that  fill  these  heavens,  and  the 
laws  that  govern  their  motions.  Mankind  could  not, 
either  from  the  Koran,  or  from  the  traditions,  per- 
ceive that  he  was  at  all  aware  of  the  errors  of  the 
system  of  astronomy  that  prevailed  in  his  day,  and 
among  his  people. 

"  Not  at  all,"  replied  the  Nawab ;  "  the  prophets 
had  no  doubt  abundant  opportunities  of  becom- 
ing acquainted  with  the  heavenly  bodies,  and  the 
laws  which  govern  them,  particularly  those  who,  like 
Mahomed,  had  been  up  through  the  seven  heavens  ; 
but  their  thoughts  were  so  entirely  taken  up  with  the 
Deity,  that  they  probably  never  noticed  the  objects 
by  which  he  was  surrounded ;  and  if  they  had  noticed 

*  I  have  never  met  another  man  so  thoroughly  master  of  the 
Koran  as  the  Mooftee,  and  yet  he  had  the  reputation  of  being  a 
very  corrupt  man  in  his  office. 

VOL.    IL  X 


them,  they  would  not  perhaps  have  thought  it  ne- 
cessary to  say  anything  about  them.  Their  object 
was  to  direct  men's  thoughts  towards  God,  and  his 
commandments ;  and  to  instruct  them  in  their  duties 
towards  him  and  towards  each  other.  Suppose," 
continued  the  Nawab,  "  you  were  to  be  invited  to 
see  and  converse  with  even  your  earthly  sovereign, 
would  not  your  thoughts  be  too  much  taken  up  with 
him  to  admit  of  your  giving,  on  your  return,  an  ac- 
count of  the  things  you  saw  about  him.  I  have  been 
several  times  to  see  you,  and  I  declare  that  I  have 
been  so  much  taken  up  with  the  conversations  which 
have  passed,  that  I  have  never  noticed  the  many 
articles  I  now  see  around  me,  nor  could  I  have 
told  any  one  on  my  return  home  what  I  had  seen  in 
your  room, — the  wall  shades,  the  pictures,  the  sofas, 
the  tables,  the  book-cases,"  continued  he,  "  casting 
his  eyes  round  the  room,  all  escaped  my  notice,  and 
might  have  escaped  it  had  my  eyes  been  younger 
and  stronger  than  they  are.  What  then  must  have 
been  the  state  of  mind  of  those  great  prophets,  who 
were  admitted  to  see  and  converse  with  the  great 
Creator  of  the  universe,  and  were  sent  by  him  to 
instruct  mankind  !" 

I  told  my  old  friend  that  I  thought  his  answer 
the  best  that  could  be  given ;  but  still,  that  we  could 
not  help  thinking,  that  if  Mahomed  had  really  been 
acquainted  with  the  nature  of  the  heavenly  bodies, 
and  the  laws  which  govern  them,  he  would  have 
taken  advantage  of  his  knowledge  to  secure  more 

ASTRONOMY    OF    THE    KORAN.  307 

firmly  their  faith  in  his  mission,  and  have  explained 
to  them  the  real  state  of  the  case,  instead  of  talking 
about  the  stars  as  merely  made  to  be  thrown  at 
devils,  to  give  light  to  men  upon  this  little  globe  of 
ours,  and  to  guide  them  in  their  wanderings  upon  it 
by  sea  and  land. 

"  But  what,"  said  the  Nawab,  "  are  the  great 
truths  that  you  would  have  had  our  holy  prophet  to 
teach  mankind  ? " 

"  Why,  Nawab  Sahib,  I  would  have  had  him  tell 
us,  amongst  other  things,  of  that  law  which  makes 
this  our  globe,  and  the  other  planets  revolve  round 
the  sun,  and  their  moons  around  them.  I  would 
have  had  him  teach  us  something  of  the  nature  of  the 
things  we  call  comets,  or  stars  with  large  tails,  and 
of  that  of  the  fixed  stars,  which  we  suppose  to  be 
suns,  like  our  sun,  with  planets  revolving  round 
them  like  ours,  since  it  is  clear  that  they  do  not 
borrow  their  light  from  our  sun,  nor  from  anything 
that  we  can  discover  in  the  heavens.  I  would  also 
have  had  him  tell  us  the  nature  of  that  white  belt 
which  crosses  the  sky,  which  you  call  the  o various 
belt,  Khutabyuz,  and  we  the  milky-way,  and  which 
we  consider  to  be  a  collection  of  self-lighted  stars, 
while  many  orthodox  but  unlettered  Mussulmans 
think  it  the  marks  made  in  the  sky  by  '' Boo^ak,'' 
the  rough-shed  donkey,  on  which  your  prophet  rode 
from  Jerusalem  to  heaven.  And  you  think,  Nawab 
Sahib,  that  there  was  quite  evidence  enough  to  sa- 
tisfy any  person  whose  heart  had  not  been  hardened 

X  2 


to  unbelief?  and  that  no  description  of  the  heavenly 
bodies,  or  of  the  laws  which  govern  their  motion, 
could  have  had  any  influence  on  the  minds  of  such 
people  ?" 

"  Assuredly  I  do,  sir  !  Has  not  God  said,  '  If  we 
should  open  a  gate  in  the  heavens  above  them,  and 
they  should  ascend  thereto  all  the  day  long,  they 
would  surely  say,  our  eyes  are  only  dazzled,  or  rather 
we  are  a  people  deluded  by  enchantments.'  *  Do  you 
think,  sir,  that  anything  which  his  majesty,  Moses, 
could  have  said  about  the  planets,  and  the  comets,  and 
the  milky- way,  would  have  tended  so  much  to  persuade 
the  children  of  Israel  of  his  divine  mission,  as  did  the 
single  stroke  of  his  rod,  which  brought  a  river  of  de- 
licious water  gushing  from  a  dry  rock  when  they 
were  all  dying  from  thirst  ?  When  our  holy  prophet," 
continued  the  Nawab,  (placing  the  points  of  the  four 
lingers  of  his  right-hand  on  the  table,)  "  placed  his 
blessed  hand  thus  on  the  ground,  and  caused  four 
streams  to  gush  out  from  the  dry  plain,  and  supply 
with  fresh  water  the  whole  army  which  was  perish- 
ing from  thirst ;  and  when  out  of  oiAj  five  small  dates 
he  afterwards  feasted  all  this  immense  army  till  they 
could  eat  no  more,  he  surely  did  more  to  convince 
his  followers  of  his  divine  mission  than  he  could  have 
done  by  any  discourse  about  the  planets,  and  the 
milky-way,"  (Khut,  i,  Abyuz.) 

"  No  doubt,  Nawab  Sahib,  these  were  very  power- 
ful arguments  for  those  who  saw  them,  or  believed 
*  See  Koran,  chap.  xv. 


them  to  have  been  seen ;  and  those  who  doubt  the 
divinity  of  your  prophet's  mission  are  those  who 
doubt  their  having  ever  been  seen." 

"  The  whole  army  saw  and  attested  them,  sir,  and 
that  is  evidence  enough  for  us ;  and  those  who  saw 
them,  and  were  not  satisfied,  must  have  had  their 
hearts  hardened  to  unbelief" 

"  And  you  think,  Nawab  Sahib,  that  a  man  is  not 
master  of  his  own  belief  or  disbelief  in  religious 
matters ;  though  he  is  rewarded  by  an  eternity  of 
bliss  in  paradise  for  the  one,  and  punished  by  an 
eternity  of  scorching  in  hell  for  the  other  ?" 

"  I  do,  sir — faith  is  a  matter  of  feeling ;  and  over 
our  feelings  we  have  no  control.  All  that  we  can 
do  is  to  prevent  their  influencing  our  actions,  when 
these  actions  would  be  mischievous.  I  have  a  desire 
to  stretch  out  this  arm,  and  crush  that  fly  on  the 
table.  I  can  control  the  act,  and  do  so ;  but  the 
desire  is  not  under  my  control." 

"  True,  Nawab  Sahib ;  and  in  this  life  we  punish 
men  not  for  their  feelings,  which  is  beyond  their  con- 
trol ;  but  for  their  acts,  over  which  they  have  con- 
trol ;  and  we  are  apt  to  think  that  the  Deity  will 
do  the  same." 

"  There  are,  sir,"  continued  the  Nawab,  "  three 
kinds  of  certainty — the  moral  certainty,  the  mathe- 
matical certainty,  and  the  religious  certainty,  which 
we  hold  to  be  the  greatest  of  all — the  one  in  which 
the  mind  feels  entire  repose.  This  repose  I  feel  in 
everything  that  is  written  in  the  Koran,  in  the  Bible, 


and,  with  the  few  known  exceptions,  in  the  New 
Testament.  We  do  not  believe  that  Christ  was  the 
son  of  God,  though  we  believe  him  to  have  been  a 
great  prophet  sent  down  to  enlighten  mankind ;  nor 
do  we  believe  that  he  was  crucified.  We  believe 
that  the  wicked  Jews  got  hold  of  a  thief,  and  cruci- 
fied him  in  the  belief  that  he  was  the  Christ — but 
the  real  Christ  was,  we  think,  taken  up  into  heaven, 
and  not  suffered  to  be  crucified." 

"  But,  Nawab  Sahib,  the  Seikhs  have  their  book 
in  which  they  have  the  same  faith." 

"  True,  sir,  but  the  Seikhs  are  unlettered,  ignorant 
brutes ;  and  you  do  not,  I  hope,  call  their  Gurunth 
a  book— a  thing  written  only  the  other  day,  and  full 
of  nonsense  !  No  book  has  appeared  since  the  Koran 
came  down  from  heaven ;  nor  will  any  other  come 
till  the  day  of  judgment.  And  how,"  said  the  Nawab, 
"  have  people  in  modern  days  made  all  the  discoveries 
you  speak  of  in  astronomy  ?" 

**  Chiefly,  Nawab  Sahib,  by  means  of  the  teles- 
cope which  is  an  instrument  of  modern  inven- 

"  And  do  you  suppose,  sir,  that  I  would  put  the 
evidence  of  one  of  your  Doorbems  (telescopes)  in  op- 
position to  that  of  the  holy  prophet  ?  No,  sir,  de- 
pend upon  it  that  there  is  much  fallacy  in  a  teles- 
cope— it  is  not  to  be  relied  upon.  I  have  conversed 
with  many  excellent  European  gentlemen ;  and  their 
great  fault  appears  to  me  to  lie  in  the  implicit  faith 
they  put  in  these  telescopes — they  hold  their  evidence 


above  that  of  the  prophets,  Moses,  Abraham,  and 
Elijah !  It  is  dreadful  to  think  how  much  mischief 
these  telescopes  may  do  !  No,  sir,  let  us  hold  fast 
by  the  prophets ;  what  they  tell  us  is  the  truth,  and 
the  only  truth  that  we  can  entirely  rely  upon  in  this 
life.  I  would  not  hold  the  evidence  of  all  the  teles- 
copes in  the  world,  as  anything  against  one  vrord 
uttered  by  the  humblest  of  the  prophets  named  in 
the  Old  or  New  Testament,  or  the  holy  Koran.  The 
prophets,  sir,  keep  to  the  prophets,  and  throw  aside 
your  telescopes — there  is  no  truth  in  them  :  some  of 
them  turn  people  upside  down,  and  make  them  walk 
upon  their  heads ;  and  yet  you  put  their  evidence 
against  that  of  the  prophets." 

Nothing  that  I  could  say  would,  after  this,  con- 
vince the  Nawab  that  there  was  any  virtue  in  teles- 
copes ;  his  religious  feeling  had  been  greatly  excited 
against  them ;  and  had  Galileo,  Tycho-Brahe,  Kepler, 
Newton,  Laplace,  and  the  Herschels,  all  been  pre- 
sent to  defend  them,  they  would  not  have  altered 
his  opinion  of  their  demerits.  The  old  man  has,  I 
believe,  a  shrewd  suspicion  that  they  are  inventions 
of  the  devil  to  lead  men  from  the  right  way;  and 
were  he  told  all  that  these  great  men  have  discovered 
through  their  means,  he  would  be  very  much  dis- 
posed to  believe  that  they  were  incarnations  of  his 
Satanic  majesty  playing  over  again  with  Doorbems, 
(telescopes,)  the  same  game  which  the  serpent  played 
with  the  apple  in  the  garden  of  Eden ! 


"  Solicit  not  thy  thoughts  with  matters  hid  ; 
Leave  them  to  God  above :  him  serve,  and  fear ! 
Of  other  creatures,  as  him  pleases  best, 
Wherever  placed,  let  him  dispose  :  joy  thou 
In  what  he  gives  to  thee,  this  Paradise 
And  thy  fair  E\e :  heaven  is  for  thee  too  high 
To  know  what  passes  there  :  be  lowly  wise : 
Think  only  what  concerns  thee,  and  thy  being : 
Dream  not  of  other  worlds,  what  creatures  there 
Live,  in  what  state,  condition,  or  degree  : 
Contented  that  thus  far  hath  been  reveal' d. 
Not  of  earth  only,  but  of  highest  heaven  !" 

Paradise  Lost,  book  viii. 





On  the  26th  we  crossed  the  river  Jumna,  over  a 
bridge  of  boats,  kept  up  by  the  King  of  Oude  for 
the  use  of  the  public,  though  his  majesty  is  now 
connected  with  Delhi  only  by  the  tomb  of  his  an- 
cestor; and  his  territories  are  separated  from  the 
imperial  city  by  the  two  great  rivers,  Ganges  and 
Jumna.  We  proceeded  to  Furuckungur,  about 
twelve  miles  over  an  execrable  road  running  over  a 
flat  but  rugged  surface  of  unproductive  soil.  India 
is,  perhaps,  the  only  civilized  country  in  the  world 
where  a  great  city  could  be  approached  by  such  a 
road  from  the  largest  military  station  in  the  empire, 
not  more  than  three  stages  distant.  After  breakfast, 
the  head  native  police  officer  of  the  division  came  to 
pay  his  respects.  He  talked  of  the  dreadful  murders 
which  used  to  be  perpetrated  in  this  neighbourhood 
by  miscreants,  who  found  shelter  in  the  territories  of 
the  Begum  Suniroo,  whither  his  folio wei-s  dared  not 


hunt  for  them ;  and  mentioned  a  case  of  nine  per- 
sons who  had  been  murdered  just  within  the  boundary 
of  our  territories  about  seven  years  before,  and 
thrown  into  a  dry  well.  He  was  present  at  the  in- 
quest held  on  their  bodies,  and  described  their  ap- 
pearance ;  and  I  found  that  they  were  the  bodies  of 
a  news  writer  from  Lahore,  who,  with  his  eight  com- 
panions, had  been  murdered  by  Thugs  on  his  way  back 
to  Rohilcund.  I  had  long  before  been  made  ac- 
quainted with  the  circumstances  of  this  murder,  and 
the  perpetrators  had  all  been  secured,  but  we  wanted 
this  link  in  the  chain  of  evidence.  It  had  been  de- 
scribed to  me  as  having  taken  place  within  the 
boundary  of  the  Begum's  territory,  and  I  applied  to 
her  for  a  report  on  the  inquest.  She  declared  that  no 
bodies  had  been  discovered  about  the  time  men- 
tioned ;  and  I  concluded  that  the  ignorance  of  the 
people  of  the  neighbourhood  was  pretended,  as  usual 
in  such  cases,  with  a  view  to  avoid  a  summons  to 
give  evidence  in  our  courts.  I  referred  forthwith  to 
the  magistrate  of  the  district,  and  found  the  report 
that  I  wanted,  and  thereby  completed  the  chain  of 
evidence  upon  a  very  important  case.  The  Thanadar 
seemed  much  surprised  to  find  that  I  was  so  well  ac- 
quainted with  the  circumstances  of  this  murder ;  but 
still  more,  that  the  perpetrators  were  not  the  poor 
old  Begum's  subjects,  but  our  own  ! 

The  police  officers  employed  on  our  borders  find 
it  very  convenient  to  trace  the  perpetrators  of  all 
murders  and  gang  robberies  into  the  territories  of 


POLICE.  315 

native  chiefs,  whose  subjects  they  accuse  often  when 
they  know  that  the  crimes  have  been  perpetrated  by 
our  own.  They  are,  on  the  one  hand,  afraid  to  seize 
or  accuse  the  real  offenders,  lest  they  should  avenge 
themselves  by  some  personal  violence,  or  by  thefts  or 
robberies,  which  they  often  commit,  with  a  view  to 
get  them  turned  out  of  office  as  inefficient ;  and  on  the 
other  they  are  tempted  to  conceal  the  real  offenders 
by  a  liberal  share  of  the  spoil,  and  a  promise  of  not 
again  offending  within  their  beat.  Their  tenure  of 
office  is  far  too  insecure,  and  their  salaries  are  far  too 
small.  They  are  often  dismissed  summarily  by  the 
magistrate  if  they  send  him  in  no  prisoners ;  and  also 
if  they  send  in  to  him  prisoners  who  are  not  ultimately 
convicted,  because  a  magistrate's  merits  are  too  often 
estimated  by  the  proportion  that  his  convictions 
bear  to  his  acquittals,  among  the  prisoners  committed 
for  trial  to  the  sessions.  Men  are  often  ultimately  ac- 
quitted for  want  of  judicial  proof,  when  there  is 
abundance  of  that  moral  proof  on  which  a  police 
officer  or  magistrate  has  to  act  in  the  discharge  of 
his  duties ;  and  in  a  country  where  gangs  of  profes- 
sional and  hereditary  robbers  and  murderers  extend 
their  depredations  into  very  remote  parts,  and  seldom 
commit  them  in  the  districts  in  which  they  reside, 
the  most  vigilant  police  officer  must  often  fail  to 
discover  the  perpetrators  of  heavy  crimes  that  take 
place  within  his  range. 

When  they  cannot  find  them,   the  native  officers 
either  seize  innocent  persons,  and  frighten  them  into 


confession ;  or  else  they  try  to  conceal  the  crime,  and 
in  this  they  are  seconded  by  the  sufferers  in  the  rob- 
bery, who  will  always  avoid  if  they  can  a  prosecu- 
tion in  our  courts,  and  by  their  neighbours,  who 
dread  being  summoned  to  give  evidence  as  a  serious 
calamity.  The  man  who  has  been  robbed,  instead  of 
being  an  object  of  compassion  among  his  neighbours, 
often  incurs  their  resentment  for  subjecting  them  to 
this  calamity ;  and  they  not  only  pay  largely  them- 
selves, but  make  him  pay  largely  to  have  his  losses 
concealed  from  the  magistrate.  Formerly,  when  a 
district  was  visited  by  a  judge  of  circuit,  to  hold  his 
sessions  only  once  or  twice  a  year,  and  men  were 
constantly  bound  over  to  prosecute  and  appear  as 
evidence,  from  sessions  to  sessions,  till  they  were 
wearied  and  wearied  to  death,  this  evil  was  much 
greater  than  it  is  at  present,  when  every  district  is 
provided  with  its  judge  of  sessions,  who  is,  or  ought 
to  be,  always  ready  to  take  up  the  cases  committed 
for  trial  by  the  magistrate.  This  was  one  of  the  best 
measures  of  Lord  W.  Bentinck's  admirable,  though 
much  abused  administration  of  the  government  of 
India.  Still,  however,  the  inconvenience  and  delay 
of  prosecution  in  our  courts  are  so  great,  and  the 
chance  of  the  ultimate  conviction  of  great  offenders 
is  so  small,  that  strong  temptations  are  held  out  to 
the  police  to  conceal,  or  misrepresent  the  character 
of  crimes ;  and  they  must  have  a  greater  feeling  of 
security  in  their  tenure  of  office,  and  more  adequate 
salaries,  better  chances  of  rising,  and  better  super- 


vision  over  them,  before  they  will  resist  such  tempta- 
tions. These  Thanadars,  and  all  the  public  officers 
under  them,  are  all  so  very  inadequately  paid,  that 
corruption  among  them  excites  no  feeling  of  odium 
or  indignation  in  the  minds  of  those  among  whom 
they  live  and  serve.  Such  feelings  are  rather  di- 
rected against  the  government  that  places  them  in 
situations  of  so  much  labour  and  responsibility  with 
salaries  so  inadequate;  and  thereby  confers  upon 
them  virtually  a  kind  of  license  to  pay  themselves 
by  preying  upon  those  whom  they  are  employed 
ostensibly  to  protect.  They  know  that  with  such 
salaries  they  can  never  have  the  reputation  of  being 
honest,  however  faithfully  they  may  discharge  their 
duties ;  and  it  is  too  hard  to  expect  that  men  will 
long  submit  to  the  necessity  of  being  thought  cor- 
rupt, without  reaping  some  of  the  advantages  of 
corruption.  Let  the  Thanadars  have  everywhere 
such  salaries  as  will  enable  them  to  maintain  their 
families  in  comfort,  and  keep  up  that  appearance  of 
respectability  which  their  station  in  society  demands ; 
and  over  every  three  or  four  Thanadars'  jurisdiction, 
let  there  be  an  officer  appointed  upon  a  higher  scale 
of  salary,  to  supervise  and  control  their  proceedings, 
and  armed  with  powers  to  decide  minor  offences. 
To  these  higher  stations  the  Thanadars  will  be  able 
to  look  forward  as  their  reward  for  a  faithful  and 
zealous  discharge  of  their  duties. 

He  who  can  suppose  that  men  so  inadequately 
paid,  who  have  no  promotion  to  look  forward  to,  and 


feel  no  security  in  their  tenure  of  office,  and  conse- 
quently no  hope  of  a  provision  for  old  age,  will  be 
zealous  and  honest  in  the  discharge  of  their  duties, 
must  be  very  imperfectly  acquainted  with  human  na- 
ture, and  with  the  motives  by  which  men  are  influenced 
in  all  quarters  of  the  world ;  but  we  are  none  of  us 
so  ignorant,  for  we  all  know  that  the  same  motives 
actuate  public  servants  in  India,  as  elsewhere.  We 
have  acted  successfully  upon  this  knowledge  in  the 
scale  of  salaries  and  gradation  of  rank  assigned  to 
European  civil  functionaries,  and  to  all  native  func- 
tionaries employed  in  the  judicial  and  revenue 
branches  of  the  public  service ;  and  why  not  act 
upon  it  in  that  of  the  salaries  assigned  to  the  native 
officers  employed  in  the  police  ?  The  magistrate  of 
a  district  gets  a  salary  of  from  tvvo  thousand  to  two 
thousand  fiwe  hundred  rupees  a  month.  The  native 
officer  next  under  him  is  the  Thanadar,  or  head  native 
police  officer  of  a  subdivision  of  his  district,  contain- 
ing many  towns  and  villages,  with  a  population  of  a 
hundred  thousand  souls.  This  officer  gets  a  salary 
of  twenty-five  rupees  a  month.  He  cannot  possibly 
do  his  duty  unless  he  keeps  one  or  two  horses ;  in- 
deed, he  is  told  by  the  magistrate  that  he  cannot ; 
and  that  he  must  have  one  or  two  horses,  or  resign 
his  post.  The  people  seeing  how  much  we  expect 
from  the  Thanadar,  and  how  little  we  give  him,  sub- 
mit to  his  demands  for  contributions  without  mur- 
muring, and  consider  almost  any  demand  trivial  from 
a  man  so  employed   and   so  paid.     They  are  con- 


founded  at  our  inconsistency,  and  say,  "We  see  you 
giving  high  salaries,  and  high  prospects  of  advance- 
ment, to  men  who  have  nothing  to  do  but  collect 
your  rents,  and  to  decide  our  disputes  about  pounds, 
shillings,  and  pence,  which  we  used  to  decide  much 
better  ourselves,  when  we  had  no  other  court  but 
that  of  our  elders — while  those  who  are  to  protect 
life  and  property,  to  keep  peace  over  the  land,  and 
enable  the  industrious  to  work  in  security,  maintain 
their  families,  and  pay  the  government  revenue,  are 
left  with  hardly  any  pay  at  all."  There  is  really 
nothing  in  our  rule  in  India  which  strikes  the  people 
so  much  as  this  inconsistency,  the  evil  effects  of 
which  are  so  great  and  so  manifest ;  the  only  way  to 
remedy  the  evil  is,  to  give  a  greater  feeling  of  secu- 
rity in  the  tenure  of  office,  a  higher  rate  of  salary, 
the  hope  of  a  provision  for  old  age,  and,  above  all 
the  gradation  of  rank,  by  interposing  the  officers  I 
speak  of  between  the  Thanadars  and  the  magistrate. 
This  has  all  been  done  in  the  establishments  for  the 
collection  of  the  revenue,  and  administration  of  civil 

Hobbes,  in  his  Leviathan,  says,  "  And  seeing  that 
the  end  of  punishment  is  not  revenge  and  discharge 
of  choler,  but  correction  either  of  the  offender,  or  of 
others,  by  his  example,  the  severest  punishments  are 
to  be  inflicted  for  those  crimes  that  are  of  most 
danger  to  the  public ;  such  as  are  those  which  pro- 
ceed from  malice  to  the  government  established; 
those  that  spring  from  contempt  of  justice ;  those 


that  provoke  indignation  in  the  multitude ;  and  those, 
which  unpunished,  seem  authorized,  as  when  they 
are  committed  by  sons,  servants,  or  favourites  of  men 
in  authority.  For  indignation  carrieth  men,  not  only 
against  the  actors  and  authors  of  injustice,  but  against 
all  power  that  is  likely  to  protect  them ;  as  in  the 
case  of  Tarquin,  when,  for  the  insolent  act  of  one  of 
his  sons,  he  was  driven  out  of  Rome,  and  the  mo- 
narchy itself  dissolved."  (Para.  2,  chap,  xxx.)  Almost 
every  one  of  our  Thanadars  is,  in  his  way,  a  little 
Tarquin,  exciting  the  indignation  of  the  people 
against  his  rulers ;  and  no  time  should  be  lost  in 
converting  him  into  something  better. 

By  the  obstacles  which  are  still  everywhere  op- 
posed to  the  conviction  of  offenders  in  the  distance 
of  our  courts,  the  forms  of  procedure,  and  other 
causes  "  of  the  law's  delay,"  we  render  the  duties  of 
our  police  establishment  everywhere  "  more  honoured 
in  the  breach  than  the  observance,"  by  the  mass  of 
the  people  among  whom  they  are  placed.  We  must, 
as  I  have  before  said,  remove  some  of  these  obstacles 
to  the  successful  prosecution  of  offenders  in  our  cri- 
minal courts,  which  tend  so  much  to  deprive  the 
government  of  all  popular  aid  and  support  in  the 
administration  of  justice ;  and  to  convert  all  our 
police  establishments  into  instruments  of  oppression, 
instead  of  what  they  should  be,  the  efficient  means 
of  protection  to  the  persons,  property,  and  character 
of  the  innocent.  Crimes  multiply  from  the  assurance 
the  guilty  are  everywhere  apt  to  feel  of  impunity  to 

POLICE.  321 

crime ;  and  the  more  crimes  multiply  the  greater  is 
the  aversion  the  people  everywhere  feel  to  aid  the 
government  in  the  arrest  and  conviction  of  cri- 
minals ;  because  they  see  more  and  more  the  inno- 
cent punished  by  attendance  upon  distant  courts  at 
great  cost  and  inconvenience,  to  give  evidence  upon 
points  which  appear  to  them  unimportant,  while  the 
guilty  escape  owing  to  technical  difficulties  which 
they  can  never  understand. 

The  best  way  to  remove  these  obstacles  is,  to  in- 
terpose officers  between  the  Thanadar  and  the  ma. 
gistrate,  and  arm  them  with  judicial  powers  to  try 
minor  cases,  leaving  an  appeal  open  to  the  magis- 
trate; and  to  extend  the  final  jurisdiction  of  the 
magistrate  to  a  greater  range  of  crimes,  though  it 
should  involve  the  necessity  of  reducing  the  measure 
of  punishment  annexed  to  them.  Beccaria  has 
justly  observed,  that  "  Crimes  are  more  effectually 
prevented  by  the  certainty  than  by  the  severity  of 
punishment.  The  certainty  of  a  small  punishment 
will  make  a  stronger  impression  than  the  fear  of  one 
more  severe,  if  attended  with  the  hope  of  escaping; 
for  it  is  the  nature  of  mankind  to  be  terrified  at  the 
approach  of  the  smallest  inevitable  evil,  whilst  hope, 
the  best  gift  of  Heaven,  has  the  power  of  dispelling 
the  apprehensions  of  a  greater,  especially  if  supported 
by  examples  of  impunity,  which  weakness  or  avarice 
too  frequently  affords." 

I  ought  to  have  mentioned   that   the  police  of  a 
district,  in  our  Bengal  territories,  consists  of  a  ma- 

VOL.    II.  Y 


gistrate  and  his  assistant,  who  are  European  gentle- 
men of  the  civil  service ;  and  a  certain  number  of 
Thanadars,  from  twelve  to  sixteen,  who  preside  over 
the  different  subdivisions  of  the  district  in  which 
they  reside  with  their  establishments.  These  Tha- 
nadars get  twenty-five  rupees  a  month,  have  under 
them  four  or  five  Jemadars  upon  eight  rupees,  and 
thirty  or  forty  Burkundazes  upon  four  rupees  a 
month.  The  Jemadars  are,  most  of  them,  placed 
in  charge  of  nakas,  or  subdivisions  of  the  Thanadars 
jurisdiction,  the  rest  are  kept  at  their  head-quarters, 
ready  to  move  to  any  point  where  their  services  may 
be  required.  These  are  all  paid  by  government ; 
but  there  is  in  each  village  one  watchman,  and  in 
large  villages  more  than  one,  who  are  appointed  by 
the  heads  of  villages,  and  paid  by  the  communities, 
and  required  daily  or  periodically  to  report  all  the 
police  matters  of  their  villages  to  the  Thanadars.* 
The  distance  between  the  magistrates  and  Thanadars 
is  at  present  immeasurable ;  and  an  infinite  deal  of 
mischief  is  done  by  the  latter  and  those  under  them, 
of  which  the  magistrates  know  nothing  whatever. 
In  the  first  place,  they  levy  a  fee  of  one  rupee  from 
every  village  at  the  festival  of  the  Hooly  in  February ; 
and  another  at  that  of  the  Duseyra  in  October ;  and 
in  each  Thanadar's  jurisdiction  there  are  from  one 
to  two  hundred  villages.     These  and  numerous  other 

*  There  is  a  superintendent  of  police  for  the  province  of 
Bengal ;  but  in  the  north-western  provinces  his  duties  are  divided 
among  the  commissioners  of  revenue. 


unauthorised  exactions  they  share  with  those  under 
them ;  and  with  the  native  officers  about  the  person 
of  the  magistrate,  who,  if  not  conciliated,  can  always 
manage  to  make  them  appear  unfit  for  their  places. 

A  robbery  affords  a  rich  harvest.     Some  article  of 
stolen  property  is  found  in  one  man's  house,   and  by 
a  little  legerdemain  it  is  conveyed  to  that  of  ano- 
ther, both  of  whom  are  made  to  pay  liberally ;  the  man 
robbed  also  pays,  and  all  the  members  of  the  village 
community  are  made  to  do  the  same.     They  are  all 
called  to  the  court  of  the  Thanadar  to  give  evidence, 
as  to  what  they  have  seen  or  heard  regarding  either  the 
fact^  or  the  persons  in  the  remotest  degree  connected 
with  it — as  to  the  arrests  of  the  supposed  offenders — 
the  search  of  their  house — the  character  of  their  grand- 
mothers and  grandfathers ;  and  they  are  told,  that  they 
are  to  be  sent  to  the  magistrate  a  hundred  miles  dis- 
tant, and  there  made  to  stand  at  the   door  among  a 
hundred  and  fifty  pairs  of  shoes,  till  his  excellency  the 
Nazir,  the  under-sheriff  of  the  court,  may  be  pleased 
to  announce  them  to  his  highness  the  magistrate — 
which  of  course  he  will  not  do  without  a  consideration. 
To    escape    all    these    threatened    evils   they  pay 
handsomely,  and  depart  in  peace.     The  Thanadar  re- 
ports that  an  attempt  to  rob  a  house  by  persons  un- 
known, had  been  defeated  by  his  exertions,  and  the 
good  fortune  of  the  magistrate ;  and  sends  a  liberal 
share  of  spoil  to  those  who  are  to  read  his  report  to 
that  functionary.    This  goes  on  more  or  less  in  every 

Y  2 


district,  but  more  especially  in  those  where  the  ma- 
gistrate happens  to  be  a  man  of  violent  temper,  who 
is  always  surrounded  by  knaves,  because  men  who 
have  any  regard  for  their  character  will  not  approach 
him — or  a  weak,  good-natured  man,  easily  made  to 
believe  anything,  and  managed  by  favourites — or  one 
too  fond  of  field  sports,  or  of  music,  painting,  European 
languages,  literature,  and  sciences,  or,  lastly,  of  his 
own  ease.*  Some  magistrates  think  they  can  put  down 
crime  by  dismissing  the  Thanadar ;  but  this  tends 

''^  Mr.  R.,  when  appointed  magistrate  of  the  district  of  Fut- 
tehpore  on  the  Ganges,  had  a  wish  to  translate  theHenriade,  and, 
in  order  to  secure  leisure,  he  issued  a  proclamation  to  all  the 
Thanadars  of  his  district  to  put  down  crime,  declaring  that 
he  would  hold  them  responsible  for  what  might  be  committed, 
and  dismiss  from  his  situation  every  one  who  should  suffer  any  to 
be  committed  within  his  charge.  This  district,  lying  on  the 
borders  of  Oude,  had  been  noted  for  the  number  and  atrocious 
character  of  its  crimes.  From  that  day  all  the  periodical  returns 
went  up  to  the  superior  court  blank — not  a  crime  was  reported. 
Astonished  at  this  sudden  result  of  the  change  of  magistrates,  the 
superior  court  of  Calcutta  (the  Sudder  Nizamut  Adawlut)  re- 
quested one  of  the  judges,  who  was  about  to  pass  through  the 
district  on  his  way  down,  to  inquire  into  the  nature  of  the  sys- 
tem, which  seemed  to  work  so  well,  with  a  view  to  its  adoption 
in  other  districts.  He  found  crimes  were  more  abundant  than 
ever ;  and  the  Thanadars  showed  him  the  proclamation,  which  had 
been  understood  as  all  such  proclamations  are,  not  as  enjoining 
vigilance  in  the  prosecution  of  crime,  but  as  prohibiting  all  report 
of  them,  so  as  to  save  the  magistrate  trouhlcy  and  get  him  a  good 
name  with  his  superiors  ! 


only  to  prevent  crimes  being  reported  to  him  ;  for  in 
such  cases  the  feelings  of  the  people  are  in  exact  ac- 
cordance with  the  interests  of  the  Thanadars ;  and 
crimes  augment  by  the  assurance  of  impunity  thereby 
given  to  criminals.  The  only  remedy  for  all  this  evil 
is,  to  fill  up  the  great  gulf  between  the  magistrate  and 
Thanadar,  by  officers  who  shall  be  to  him,  what  T 
have  described  the  patrol  officers  to  be  to  the  col- 
lectors of  Customs,  at  once  the  tapis  of  Prince  Hosaen, 
and  the  telescope  of  Prince  Ali— a  medium  that  will 
enable  him  to  be  everywhere,  and  see  everything ! 
And  why  is  this  remedy  not  applied  ?  Simply  and 
solely  because  such  appointments  would  be  given  to 
the  uncovenanted,  and  might  tend  indirectly  to  dimi- 
nish the  appointments  open  to  the  covenanted  ser- 
vants of  the  Company.  Young  gentlemen  of  the 
civil  service  are  supposed  to  be  doing  the  duties 
which  would  be  assigned  to  such  officers  while  they 
are  at  school  as  assistants  to  magistrates  and  col- 
lectors ;  and  were  this  great  gulf  filled  up  by  effi- 
cient uncovenanted  officers,  they  would  have  no 
school  to  go  to.  There  is  no  doubt  some  truth  in 
this ;  but  the  welfare  of  a  whole  people  should  not 
be  sacrificed  to  keep  this  school  or  play-ground  open 
exclusively  for  them ;  let  them  act  for  a  time  as 
they  would  unwillingly  do  with  the  uncovenanted, 
and  they  will  learn  much  more  than  if  they  occupied 
the  ground  exclusively  and  acted  alone — they  will 
be  always  with  people  ready  and  willing  to  tell  them 
the  real  state  of  things,  whereas,  at  present,  they  are 


always  with  those  who  studiously    conceal    it  from 

It  is  a  common  practice  among  Thanadars  all 
over  the  country,  to  connive  at  the  residence  within 
their  jurisdiction  of  gangs  of  robbers,  on  the  con- 
dition, that  they  shall  not  rob  within  those  limits, 
and  shall  give  them  a  share  of  what  they  bring  back 
from  their  distant  expeditions.  They  go  out  osten- 
sibly in  search  of  service,  on  the  termination  of  the 
rains  of  one  season  in  October ;  and  return  before 
their  commencement  the  next,  in  June ;  but  their 
vocation  is  always  well  known  to  the  police,  and  to 
all  the  people  of  their  neighbourhood ;  and  very  often 
to  the  magistrates  themselves,  who  could,  if  they 
would,  secure  them  on  their  return  with  their 
booty ;  but  this  would  not  secure  their  conviction 
unless  the  proprietors  could  be  discovered,  which 
they  scarcely  ever  could.  Were  the  police  officers 
to  seize  them,  they  would  be  all  finally  acquitted  and 
released  by  the  judges — the  magistrate  would  get 
into  disrepute  with  his  superiors,  by  the  number  of 
acquittals  compared  with  the  convictions  exhibited 
in  his  monthly  tables ;  and  he  would  vent  his  spleen 
upon  the  poor  Thanadar,  who  would,  at  the  same 
time,  have  incurred  the  resentment  of  the  robbers  ; 
and  between  both,  he  would  have  no  possible  chance 
of  escape.  He  therefore  consults  his  own  interest 
and  his  own  ease  by  leaving  them  to  carry  on  their 
trade  of  robbery  or  murder  unmolested;  and  his 
master,   the  magistrate,  is  well  pleased  not   to  be 


pestered  with  charges  against  men  whom  he  has  no 
chance  of  getting  ultimately  convicted.  It  was  in 
this  way  that  so  many  hundred  fjimilies  of  assassins 
by  profession,  were  able  for  so  many  generations  to 
reside  in  the  most  cultivated  and  populous  parts  of 
our  territories,  and  extend  their  depredations  into 
the  remotest  parts  of  India,  before  our  system  of 
operations  was  brought  to  bear  upon  them  in  1830. 
Their  profession  was  perfectly  well  known  to  the 
people  of  the  districts  in  which  they  resided,  and  to 
the  greater  part  of  the  police ;  they  murdered  not 
within  their  own  district,  and  the  police  of  that  dis- 
trict cared  nothing  about  what  they  might  do  beyond 

The  most  respectable  native  gentleman  in  the  city 
and  district,  told  me  one  day  an  amusing  instance 
of  the  proceedings  of  a  native  officer  of  that  district, 
which  occurred  about  five  years  ago.  "  In  a  village 
which  he  had  purchased  and  let  in  farms,  a  shop- 
keeper was  one  day  superintending  the  cutting  of 
some  sugar-cane  which  he  had  purchased  from  a 
cultivator  as  it  stood.  His  name  was  Girdaree,  I 
think,  and  the  boy  who  was  cutting  it  for  him  was 
the  son  of  a  poor  man  called  Mudaree.  Girdaree 
wanted  to  have  the  cane  cut  down  as  near  as  he 
could  to  the  ground,  while  the  boy,  to  save  himself 
the  trouble  of  stooping,  would  persist  in  cutting  it 
a  good  deal  too  high  up.  After  admonishing  him 
several  times,  the  shopkeeper  gave  him  a  smart 
clout  on  the  head.     The  boy,  to  prevent  a  repetition, 


called  out,  *  Murder!  Girdaree  has  killed  me — Gir- 
daree  has  killed  me !'  His  old  father,  who  was  at 
work  carrying  away  the  cane  at  a  little  distance  out 
of  sight,  ran  off  to  the  village  watchman,  and  in  his 
anger,  told  him  that  Girdaree  had  murdered  his  son. 
The  watchman  went  as  fast  as  he  could  to  the 
Thanadar,  or  head  police  officer  of  the  division,  who 
resided  some  miles  distant.  The  Thanadar  ordered 
off  his  subordinate  officer,  the  Jemadar,  with  half 
a  dozen  policemen,  to  arrange  everything  for  an 
inquest  on  the  body,  by  the  time  he  should  reach 
the  place,  with  all  due  pomp.  The  Jemadar  went 
to  the  house  of  the  murderer,  and  dismounting, 
ordered  all  the  shopkeepers  of  the  village,  who  were 
many  and  respectable,  to  be  forthwith  seized,  and 
bound  hand  and  feet.  'So,'  said  the  Jemadar, 
'you  have  all  been  aiding  and  abetting  your  friend  in 
the  murder  of  poor  Mudaree's  only  son  !'  '  May  it 
please  your  excellency,  we  have  never  heard  of  any 
murder.'  '  Impudent  scoundrels,'  roared  the  Jema- 
dar ;  '  does  not  the  poor  boy  lie  dead  in  the  sugar- 
cane field  ?  and  is  not  his  highness  the  Thanadar 
coming  to  hold  an  inquest  upon  it  ?  and  do  you  take 
us  for  fools  enough  to  believe  that  any  scoundrel 
among  you  would  venture  to  commit  a  deliberate 
murder  without  being  aided  and  abetted  by  all  the 
rest  ?'  The  village  watchman  began  to  feel  some 
apprehension  that  he  had  been  too  precipitate ;  and 
entreated  the  Jemadar  to  go  first  and  see  the  body 
of  the  boy.     'What  do  you  take  us  for,'  said  the 


Jemadar,  '  a  thing  without  a  stomach  ?  Do  you 
suppose  that  government  servants  can  live  and 
labour  on  air  ?  Are  we  to  go  and  examine  bodies 
upon  empty  stomachs  ?  Let  his  father  take  care  of 
the  body,  and  let  these  shopkeeping  murderers  pro- 
vide us  something  to  eat/  Nine  rupees  worth  of 
sweetmeats,  and  materials  for  a  feast,  were  forthwith 
collected  at  the  expense  of  the  shopkeepers,  who 
stood  bound,  and  waiting  the  arrival  of  his  highness 
the  Thanadar,  who  was  soon  after  seen  approaching 
majestically  upon  a  richly  caparisoned  horse. 
*  What,'  said  the  Jemadar,  '  is  there  nobody  to  go 
and  receive  his  highness  in  due  form  V  One  of  the 
shopkeepers  was  untied,  and  presented  with  fifteen 
rupees  by  his  family,  and  those  of  the  other  shop- 
keepers. These  he  took  up  and  presented  to  his 
highness,  who  deigned  to  receive  them  through  one 
of  his  train,  and  then  dismounted  and  partook  of  the 
feast  that  had  been  provided.  'Now,'  said  his  highness, 
'  we  will  go  and  hold  an  inquest  on  the  body  of  the 
poor  boy  ;'  and  off  moved  all  the  great  functionaries 
of  government  to  the  sugar-cane  field,  with  the 
village  watchman  leading  the  way.  The  father  of 
the  boy  met  them  as  they  entered ;  and  was  pointed 
out  to  them  by  the  village  watchman.  '  Where,' 
said  the  Thanadar,  'is  your  poor  boy?'  'There,' 
said  Mudaree,  '  cutting  the  canes.'  '  How  cutting 
the  canes?  Was  he  not  murdered  by  the  shop- 
keepers ?'  '  No,'  said  Mudaree,  '  he  was  beaten  by 
Girdaree,   and  richly  deserved  it,  1   find.'     Girdaiee 


and  the  boy  were  called  up,  and  the  little  urchin  said, 
that  he  called  out  murder  merely  to  prevent  Gir- 
daree  from  giving  him  another  clout  on  the  side  of 
the  head.  His  father  was  then  fined  nine  rupees 
for  giving  a  false  alarm ;  and  Girdaree,  fifteen  for  so 
unmercifully  beating  the  boy ;  and  they  were  made 
to  pay  on  the  instant,  under  the  the  penalty  of  being 
all  sent  off  forty  miles  to  the  magistrate.  Having 
thus  settled  this  very  important  affair,  his  highness 
the  Thanadar  walked  back  to  the  shop,  ordered  all 
the  shopkeepers  to  be  set  at  liberty,  smoked  his  pipe, 
mounted  his  horse  and  rode  home,  followed  by  all  his 
police  officers ;  and  well  pleased  with  his  day's  work." 
The  farmer  of  the  village  soon  after  made  his 
way  to  the  city,  and  communicated  the  circum- 
stances to  my  old  friend,  who  happened  to  be 
on  intimate  terms  with  the  magistrate.  He  wrote 
a  polite  note  to  the  Thanadar  to  say,  that  he 
should  never  get  any  rents  from  his  estate  if  the 
occupants  were  liable  to  such  fines  as  these,  and  that 
he  should  take  the  earliest  opportunity  of  men- 
tioning them  to  his  friend,  the  magistrate.  The 
Thanadar  ascertained  that  he  was  really  in  the  habit 
of  visiting  the  magistrate,  and  communicating  with 
him  freely ;  and  hushed  up  the  matter  by  causing 
all,  save  the  expenses  of  the  feast,  to  be  paid  back. 
These  are  things  of  daily  occurrence  in  all  parts  of 
our  dominions,  and  the  Thanadars  are  not  afraid  to 
play  such  "  fantastic  tricks,"  because  all  those  under 
and  all  those  above  them  share  more  or  less  in  the 


spoil,  and  are  bound  in  honour  to  conceal  them 
from  the  European  magistrate,  whom  it  is  the  in- 
terest of  all  to  keep  in  the  dark.  They  know  that 
the  people  will  hardly  ever  complain,  from  the  great 
dislike  they  all  have  to  appear  in  our  courts,  parti- 
cularly when  it  is  against  any  of  the  officers  of  those 
courts,  or  their  friends  and  creatures  in  the  district 

When  our  operations  commenced  in  1830,  these 
assassins  revelled  over  every  road  in  India  in  gangs 
of  hundreds,  without  the  fear  of  punishment  from 
divine  or  human  laws ;  but  there  is  not  now^,  I  believe, 
a  road  in  India  infested  by  them.  That  our  govern- 
ment has  still  defects,  and  very  great  ones,  must  be 
obvious  to  every  one  who  has  travelled  much  over 
India  with  the  requisite  qualifications  and  dispo- 
sition to  observe ;  but  I  believe,  that  in  spite  of  all 
the  defects  I  have  noticed  above  in  our  police 
system,  the  life,  property,  and  character  of  the  inno- 
cent are  now  more  secure,  and  all  their  advantages 
more  freely  enjoyed,  than  they  ever  were  under  any 
former  government  with  whose  history  we  are  ac- 
quainted, or  than  they  now  are  under  any  native 
government  in  India.  Those  who  think  they  are 
not  so,  almost  always  refer  to  the  reign  of  Shah 
Jehan,  when  men  like  Tavernier  travelled  so  securely 
all  over  India  with  their  bags  of  diamonds ;  but  I 
would  ask  them,  whether  they  think  that  the  life, 
property,  and  character  of  the  innocent  could  be 
anywhere    very  secure,    or   their    advantages    very 


freely  enjoyed,  in  a  country  where  a  man  could  do 
openly  with  impunity  what  the  traveller  describes  to 
have  been  done  by  the  Persian  physician  of  the  gover- 
nor of  Allahabad  ?  This  governor  being  sickly,  had  in 
attendance  upon  him  eleven  phi/sicians,  one  of  whom 
was  an  European  gentleman  of  education,  Claudius 
Muelle,  of  Bourges.  The  chief  favourite  of  the 
eleven  was,  however,  a  Persian ;  "  who  one  day  threw 
his  wife  from  the  top  of  a  battlement  to  the  ground  in 
a  fit  of  jealousy.  He  thought  the  fall  would  kill  her, 
but  she  had  only  a  few  ribs  broken ;  whereupon  the 
kindred  of  the  woman  came  and  demanded  justice  at 
the  feet  of  the  governor.  The  governor  sending 
for  the  physician,  commanded  him  to  be  gone,  re- 
solving to  retain  him  no  longer  in  his  service.  The 
physician  obeyed ;  and  putting  his  poor  maimed, 
wife  in  a  palankeen,  he  set  forward  upon  the  road 
with  all  his  family.  But  he  had  not  gone  above 
three  or  four  days'  journey  from  the  city,  when  the 
governor,  finding  himself  worse  than  he  was  wont  to 
be,  sent  to  recall  him  ;  which  the  physician  perceiving, 
stabbed  his  wife,  his  four  children,  and  thirteen 
female  slaves,  and  returned  again  to  the  Governor, 
who  said  not  a  word  to  him,  but  entertained  him 
again  in  his  service."  This  occurred  within  Taver- 
nier's  own  knowledge,  and  about  the  time  he  visited 
Allahabad ;  and  is  related  as  by  no  means  a  very  ex- 
traordinary circumstance. 




On  the  27th,  we  went  on  fifteen  miles  to  Begum- 
abad,  over  a  sandy  and  level  country.  All  the 
peasantry  along  the  roads  were  busy  watering  their 
fields ;  and  the  singing  of  the  man  who  stood  at  the 
well  to  tell  the  other  who  guides  the  bullocks  when 
to  pull,  after  the  leather  bucket  had  been  filled  at 
the  bottom,  and  when  to  stop  as  it  reached  the  top, 
was  extremely  pleasing.  It  is  said  that  Janseyn,  of 
Delhi,  the  most  celebrated  singer  they  have  ever 
had  in  India,  used  to  spend  a  great  part  of  his  time 
in  these  fields  listening  to  the  simple  melodies  of 
these  water-drawers,  which  he  learned  to  imitate  and 
apply  to  his  more  finished  vocal  music.  Popular  belief 
ascribes  to  Janseyn  the  power  of  stopping  the  river 
Jumna  in  its  course.  His  contemporary  and  rival, 
Brij  Bowla,  who,  according  to  popular  belief,  could 
split  a  rock  with  a  single  note,  is  said  to  have  learned 


his  base  from  the  noise  of  the  stone-mills  which  the 
women  use  in  grinding  the  corn  for  their  families. 
Janseyn  was  a  Brahman  from  Patna,  who  entered 
the  service  of  the  Emperor  Akbar,  became  a  Mus- 
sulman, and  after  the  service  of  tw^enty-seven  years, 
during  which  he  was  much  beloved  by  the  Emperor 
and  all  his  court,  he  died  at  Gvvalior  in  the  34th 
year  of  the  Emperor's  reign.  His  tomb  is  still  to 
be  seen  at  Gwalior.  All  his  descendants  are  said  to 
have  a  talent  for  music,  and  they  have  all  Seyn 
added  to  their  names. 

While  Madhojie  Scindheea,  the  Gwalior  chief, 
was  prime  minister,  he  made  the  Emperor  assign  to 
his  daughter,  the  Balabae,  in  jageer  or  rent-free 
tenure,  ninety-five  villages,  rated  in  the  imperial 
sunuds  at  three  lacks  of  rupees  a  year.  When  the 
Emperor  had  been  released  from  the  "  durance  vile" 
in  which  he  was  kept  by  Dowlut  Rao  Scindheea,  the 
adopted  son  of  this  chief,  by  the  army  under  Lord 
Lake,  in  1803,  and  the  countries  in  which  these 
villages  were  situated,  taken  possession  of,  she  was 
permitted  to  retain  them  on  condition  that  they 
were  to  escheat  to  us  on  her  death.  She  died 
in  1834,  and  we  took  possession  of  the  villages  which 
now  yield,  it  is  said,  four  lacks  of  rupees  a  year. 
Begumabad  was  one  of  them.  It  paid  to  the 
Balabae  only  six  hundred  rupees  a  year,  but  it 
pays  now  to  us  six  and  twenty  hundred  rupees ;  but 
the  farmers  and  cultivators  do  not  pay  a  farthing- 
more — the  difference  was  taken  by  the  favourite  to 


whom  she  assigned  the  duties  of  collection,  and  who 
always  took  as  much  as  he  could  get  from  them,  and 
paid  as  little  as  he  could  to  her.  The  tomb  of  the 
old  collector  stood  near  my  tents,  and  his  son,  who 
who  came  to  visit  it,  told  me,  that  he  had  heard 
from  Gwalior,  that  a  new  Governor-general  was 
about  to  arrive,  who  would  probably  order  the  villages 
to  be  given  back,  when  he  should  be  made  collector 
of  this  village,  as  his  father  had  been. 

Had  our  government  acted  by  all  the  rent-free 
lands  in  our  territories  on  the  same  principle,  they 
would  have  saved  themselves  a  vast  deal  of  expense, 
trouble,  and  odium.  The  justice  of  declaring  all 
lands  liable  to  resumption  on  the  death  of  the  pre- 
sent incumbents  when  not  given  by  competent  autho- 
rity, for,  and  actually  applied  to  the  maintenance  of 
religious,  charitable,  educational,  or  other  establish- 
ments of  manifest  public  utility,  would  never  have 
been  for  a  moment  questioned  by  the  people  of 
India ;  because  they  would  have  all  known,  that  it 
was  in  accordance  with  the  usages  of  the  country. 
If,  at  the  same  time  that  we  declared  all  land  liable 
to  resumption,  when  not  assigned  by  such  authority 
and  for  such  purposes  and  actually  applied  to  them, 
we  had  declared  that  all  grants  by  competent  autho- 
rity registered  in  due  form  before  the  death  of  the 
present  incumbents,  should  be  liable  on  their  death 
to  the  payment  of  government  of  only  a  quarter  or 
half  the  rent  arising  from  them,  it  would  have  been 
universally  hailed  as  an  act  of  great  liberality,  highly 



calculated  to  make  our  reign  popular.  As  it  is,  we 
have  admitted  the  right  of  former  rulers  of  all 
descriptions  to  alienate  in  perpetuity  the  land,  the 
principal  source  of  the  revenue  of  the  state,  in  favour 
of  their  relatives,  friends,  and  favourites,  leaving  upon 
the  holders  the  burthen  of  proving,  at  a  ruinous  cost 
in  fees  and  bribes,  through  court  after  court,  that 
these  alienations  had  been  made  by  the  authorities 
we  declare  competent,  before  the  time  prescribed  ;  and 
we  have  thus  given  rise  to  an  infinite  deal  of  fraud, 
perjury,  and  forgery,  and  to  the  opinion,  I  fear,  very 
generally  prevalent,  that  we  are  anxious  to  take  advan- 
tage of  unavoidable  flaws  in  the  proof  required,  to 
trick  them  out  of  their  lands  by  tedious  judicial  pro- 
ceedings, while  we  profess  to  be  desirous  that  they 
should  retain  them.  In  this,  we  have  done  our- 
selves great  injustice. 

Though  these  lands  were  often  held  for  many  gene- 
rations under  former  governments,  and  for  the  ex- 
clusive benefit  of  the  holders,  it  was  almost  always, 
when  they  were  of  any  value,  in  collusion  with  the 
local  authorities,  who  concealed  the  circumstances 
from  their  sovereign  for  a  certain  stipulated  sum  or 
share  of  the  rents  while  they  held  oflSce.  This  of 
course  the  holders  were  always  willing  to  pay,  know- 
ing that  no  sovereign  would  hesitate  much  to  resume 
the  lands,  should  the  circumstance  of  their  holdinof 
them  for  their  own  private  use  alone,  be  ever  brought 
to  his  notice.  The  local  authorities  were  no  doubt 
always  willing  to  take  a  moderate  share  of  the  rent. 


knowing  that  they  would  get  nothing  should  the 
lands  be  resumed  by  the  sovereign.  Sometimes  the 
lands  granted  were  either  at  the  time  the  grant  was 
made,  or  became  soon  after,  waste  and  depopulated, 
in  consequence  of  invasion  or  internal  disorders ;  and 
remaining  in  this  state  for  many  generations,  the  in- 
tervening sovereigns  either  knew  nothing  or  cared 
nothing  about  the  grants.  Under  our  rule  they  be- 
came by  degrees  again  cultivated  and  peopled ;  and, 
in  consequence,  valuable,  not  by  the  exertions  of  the 
rent-free  holders,  for  they  were  seldom  known  to  do 
anything  but  collect  the  rents ;  but  by  those  of  the 
farmers  and  cultivators  who  pay  them. 

When  Saadut  Ally  Khan,  the  sovereign  of  Oude, 
ceded  Rohilcund  and  other  districts  to  the  honour- 
able Company  in  lieu  of  tribute  in  1801,  he  resumed 
every  inch  of  land  held  in  rent-free  tenure  within 
the  territories  that  remained  with  him,  without  con- 
descending to  assign  any  other  reason  than  state 
necessity.  The  measure  created  a  good  deal  of 
distress,  particularly  among  the  educated  classes; 
but  not  so  much  as  a  similar  measure  would  have 
created  within  our  territories,  because  all  his  reve- 
nues are  expended  in  the  maintenance  of  establish- 
ments formed  exclusively  out  of  the  members  of 
Oude  families,  and  retained  within  the  country, 
while  ours  are  sent  to  pay  establishments  formed  and 
maintained  at  a  distance ;  and  those  whose  lands  are 
resumed  always  find  it  exceedingly  difficult  to  get 
employment  suitable  to  their  condition. 

VOL.  II.  z 


The  face  of  the  country  between  Delhi  and 
Meerut  is  sadly  denuded  of  its  groves ;  not  a  grove 
or  an  avenue  is  to  be  seen  anywhere,  and  but  few  fine 
solitary  trees.  I  asked  the  people  of  the  cause,  and 
was  told  by  the  old  men  of  the  village,  that  they 
remembered  well  when  the  Seikh  chiefs  w4io  now 
bask  under  the  sunshine  of  our  protection,  used  to 
come  over  at  the  head  of  dullus  (bodies)  of  ten  or 
twelve  thousand  horse  each,  and  plunder  and  lay 
waste  with  fire  and  sword,  at  every  returning  harvest, 
the  fine  country  which  I  now  saw  covered  with  rich 
sheets  of  cultivation,  and  which  they  had  rendered  a 
desolate  waste,  "  without  a  man  to  make  or  a  man  to 
grant  a  petition,"  when  Lord  Lake  came  among 
them.  They  were,  they  say,  looking  on  at  a  dis- 
tance when  he  fought  the  battle  of  Delhi,  and  drove 
the  Mahrattas,  who  were  almost  as  bad  as  the  Seikhs, 
into  the  Jumna  river,  where  ten  thousand  of  them 
were  drowned.  The  people  of  all  classes  in  upper 
India  feel  the  same  reverence  as  our  native  soldiery 
for  the  name  of  this  admirable  soldier,  and  most 
worthy  man,  who  did  so  much  to  promote  our  in- 
terests and  sustain  our  reputation  in  this  country. 

The  most  beautiful  trees  in  India  are  the  bur, 
(banyan,)  the  peepul,  and  the  tamarind.  The  two 
first  are  of  the  fig  tribe,  and  their  greatest  enemies 
are  the  elephants  and  camels  of  our  public  establish- 
ments and  public  servants,  who  prey  upon  them  wher- 
ever they  can  find  them  when  under  the  protection  of 
their  masters  or  keepers,  who,   when  appealed   to 


generally  evince  a  very  philosophical  disregard  to  the 
feeling  of  either  property  or  piety  involved  in  the 
trespass.  It  is  consequently  in  the  dryest  and  hot- 
test parts  of  the  country  where  the  shade  of  these 
trees  is  most  vranted,  that  it  is  least  to  be  found ; 
because  it  is  there  that  camels  thrive  best,  and  are 
most  kept,  and  it  is  most  difficult  to  save  such  trees 
from  their  depredations. 

In  the  evening,  a  trooper  passed  our  tents  on  his 
way  in  great  haste  from  Meerut  to  Delhi,  to  announce 
the  death  of  the  poor  old  Begum  Sumroo,  which 
had  taken  place  the  day  before  at  her  little  capital 
of  Sirdhannah.  For  five  and  twenty  years  had  I 
been  looking  forward  to  the  opportunity  of  seeing 
this  very  extraordinary  woman,  whose  history  had 
interested  me  more  than  that  of  any  other  character 
in  India  during  my  time ;  and  I  was  sadly  disap- 
pointed to  hear  of  her  death  when  within  two  or 
three  stages  of  her  capital. 






On  the  20th,  we  went  on  twelve  miles  to  Meerut, 
and  encamped  close  to  the  Sooruj  Kond,  so  called 
after  Sooroojmul,  the  Jat  chief  of  Deeg,  whose  tomb 
I  have  described  at  Goverdhun.  He  built  here  a 
very  large  tank,  at  the  recommendation  of  the  spirit 
of  a  Hindoo  saint,  Munohur  Nath,  whose  remains 
had  been  burned  here  more  than  two  hundred  years 
before,  and  whose  spirit  appeared  to  the  Jat  chief  in 
a  dreamy  as  he  was  encamped  here  with  his  army 
during  one  of  his  little  kingdom- taking  expeditions. 
This  is  a  noble  work,  with  a  fine  sheet  of  water,  and 
flights  of  steps  of  pucka  masonry  from  the  top  to  its 
edge  all  round.  The  whole  is  kept  in  repair  by  our 
government.  About  half  a  mile  to  the  north-west  of 
the  tank  stands  the  tomb  of  Shah  Peer,  a  Mahomedan 
saint,  who  is  said  to  have  descended  from  the  moun- 


tains  with  the  Hindoo,  and  to  have  been  bis  bosom 
friend  up  to  the  day  of  his  death.  Both  are  said  to  have 
worked  many  wonderful  miracles  among  the  people  of 
the  surrounding  country,  who  used  to  see  them,  accord- 
ing to  popular  belief,  quietly  taking  their  morning 
ride  together  upon  the  backs  of  two  enormous  tigers* 
who  came  every  mornings  at  the  appointed  hour  from 
the  distant  jungle!  The  Hindoo  is  said  to  have 
been  very  fond  of  music  ;  and  though  he  has  been 
now  dead  some  three  centuries,  a  crowd  of  amateurs 
(atalees)  assemble  every  Sunday  afternoon  at  his 
shrine,  on  the  bank  of  the  tank,  and  sing  gratis, 
and  in  a  very  pleasing  style,  to  an  immense  con- 
course of  people,  who  assemble  to  hear  them,  and 
to  solicit  the  spirit  of  the  old  saint,  softened  by  their 
melodies.  At  the  tomb  of  the  Mahomedan  saint,  a 
number  of  professional  dancers  and  singers  assemble 
every  Thursday  afternoon,  and  dance,  sing,  and  play 
gratis  to  a  large  concourse  of  people,  who  make 
offerings  of  food  to  the  poor,  and  implore  the  inter- 
cession of  the  old  man  with  the  Deity  in  return. 

The  Mahomedans  tomb  is  large  and  handsome, 
and  built  of  red  sandstone,  inlaid  with  marble,  but 
without  any  cupola,  that  there  may  be  no  curtain 
between  him  and  heaven  when  he  gets  out  of  his 
"  last  long  sleep"  at  the  resurrection.  Not  far  from 
his  tomb  is  another,  over  the  bones  of  a  pilgrim  they 
call  "  Gunjishun,"  or  the  granary  of  scie?ice.  Pro- 
fessional singers  and  dancers  attend  it  every  Friday 
afternoon,   and  display  their  talents  gratis  to  a  large 


concourse,  who  bestow  what  they  can  in  charity  to 

the  poor,  who  assemble  on  all  these  occasions  to  take 

what  they  can  get.     Another  much  frequented  tomb 

lies  over  a  Mahomedan  saint,  who  has  not  been  dead 

more  than  three  years,  named  Gohur  Sa.     He  owes 

his  canonization  to  a  few  circumstances   of  recent 

occurrence,  which  are,  however,  universally  believed. 

Mr.  Smith,   an   enterprising  merchant   of  Meerut, 

who  had  raised  a  large  windmill  for  grinding  corn  in 

the  Sudder  Buzar,  is  said  to  have  abused  the  old  man 

as  he  was  one  day  passing  by,  and  looked  with  some 

contempt  on  his  method  of  grinding,  which  was  to 

take  the  bread  from  the  mouths  of  so   many  old 

widows.     "  My  child,"  said  the  old  saint,  "  amuse 

thyself  with  this  toy  of  thine,  for  it  has  but  a  few 

days  to  run."     In   four  days  from  that  time,  the 

machine  stopped.     Poor  Mr.  Smith  could  not  afford 

to  set  it  going  again,  and  it  went  to  ruin.     The 

whole  native  population  of  Meerut  considered  this  a 

miracle  of  Gohur   Sa !     Just  before  his  death,  the 

country  round  Meerut  was  under  water,  and  a  great 

many  houses  fell,  from  incessant  rain.     The  old  man 

took  up  his  residence,  during  this  time,  in  a  large 

surae  in  the  town,  but  finding  his  end  approach,  he 

desired  those  who  had  taken  shelter  with  him,  to 

have  him  t^ken  to  the  jungle  where  he  now  reposes. 

They  did  so,  and  the  instant  they  left  the  building  it 

fell  to  the  ground.     Many  who  saw  it,  told  me  they 

had  no  doubt,  that  the  virtues  of  the  old  man  had 

sustained  it  while  he  was  there,  and  prevented  its 

TOMBS   OF    SAINTS.  343 

crushing  all  who  were  in  it.  The  tomb  was  built 
over  his  remains,  by  a  Hindoo  officer  of  the  court, 
who  had  been  long  out  of  employment,  and  in  great 
affliction.  He  had  no  sooner  completed  the  tomb, 
and  implored  the  aid  of  the  old  man,  than  he  got 
into  excellent  service,  and  has  been  ever  since  a 
happy  man.  He  makes  regular  offerings  to  his 
shrine,  as  a  grateful  return  for  the  saint's  kindness  to 
him  in  his  hour  of  need.  Professional  singers  and 
dancers  display  their  talents  here  gratis,  as  at  the 
other  tombs,  every  Wednesday  afternoon. 

The  ground  all  round  these  tombs  is  becoming 
crowded  with  the  graves  of  people,  who,  in  their  last 
moments,  request  to  be  buried  (Zeer  i  saea)  under 
the  shadow  of  these  saints,  who,  in  their  lifetime,  are 
all  said  to  have  despised  the  pomps  and  vanities  of 
this  life  ;  and  to  have  taken  nothing  from  their  dis- 
ciples and  worshippers  but  what  was  indispensably 
necessary  to  support  existence — food  being  the  only 
thing   offered    and  accepted,  and   that   taken   only 
when  they  happened  to  be  very  hungry.     Happy  in- 
deed was  the  man  whose  dish  was  put  forward  when 
the   saint's    appetite    happened  to  be  sharp!     The 
death  of  the   poor  old  Begum  has,  it  is  said,  just 
canonized  another  saint,  Shakir  Shah,  who  lies  buried 
at   Sirdhanna,    but   is   claimed   by    the    people   of 
Meerut,  among  whom  he  lived,  till  about  five  years 
ago,   when  he   desired    to  be  taken    to  Sirdhanna, 
where  he  found  the  old  lady  very  dangerously  ill, 
and  not  expected  to  live.     He  was  himself  very  old 


and  ill  when  he  set  out  from  Meerut ;  and  the 
journey  is  said  to  have  shaken  him  so  much,  that  he 
found  his  end  approaching,  and  sent  a  messenger  to 
the  princess  in  these  words :  "  Aea  toree,  chulee 
hum" — "  thine  came,  but  I  go ;"  that  is,  "  Death 
came  for  thee,  but  I  go  in  thy  place ;"  and  he  told 
those  around  him  that  she  had  precisely  five  years 
more  to  live.  She  is  said  to  have  caused  a  tomb  to 
be  built  over  him,  and  is  believed  by  the  people  to 
have  died  that  day  five  years. 

All  these  things  I  learned  as  I  wandered  among 
the  tombs  of  the  old  saints  the  first  few  evenings 
after  my  arrival  at  Meerut.  I  was  interested  in 
their  history  from  the  circumstance  that  amateur 
singers  and  professional  dancers  and  musicians  should 
display  their  talents  at  their  shrines  gratis,  for  the 
sake  of  getting  alms  for  the  poor  of  the  place,  given  in 
their  name — a  thing  I  had  never  before  heard  of — 
though  the  custom  prevails  no  doubt  in  other  places ; 
and  that  Mussulmans  and  Hindoos  should  join 
promiscuously  in  their  devotions  and  charities  at  all 
these  shrines.  Munohur  Nath's  shrine,  though  he 
was  a  Hindoo,  is  attended  by  as  many  Mussulman  as 
Hindoo  pilgrims.  He  is  said  to  have  taken  the 
samdd,  that  is,  to  have  buried  himself  alive  in  this 
place,  as  an  offering  to  the  Deity.  Men  who  are 
afflicted  with  leprosy,  or  any  other  incurable  disease 
in  India,  often  take  the  samaud,  that  is,  bury  or 
drown  themselves  with  due  ceremonies,  by  which 
they  are  considered  as  acceptable  sacrifices  to  the 


Deity.     I  once  knew  a  Hindoo  gentleman,  of  great 
wealth  and  respectability,  and  of  high  rank,  under 
the  government  of  Nagpore,  who  came  to  the  river 
Nerbudda,  two  hundred  miles,   attended  by  a  large 
retinue,  to  take  the  samaud  in  due  form,  from  a  pain- 
ful disease,  which  the  doctors  pronounced  incurable. 
After  taking  an  affectionate  leave  of  all  his  family 
and  friends,  he  embarked  on  board  the  boat,  which 
took  him  into  the  deepest  part  of  the  river.  He  then 
loaded  himself  with  sand,  as  a  sportsman  who  is  re- 
quired to  carry  weights  in  a  race  loads  himself  with 
shot,  and  stepping  into  the  water  disappeared.     The 
funeral  ceremonies   were    then  performed,    and  his 
family,  friends,  and  followers  returned  to  Nagpore, 
conscious  that  they  had  all  done  what  they  had  been 
taught  to  consider  their  duty.     Many  poor  men  do 
the  same  every  year  when  afflicted  by  any  painful 
disease  that  they  consider  incurable.     The  only  way 
to  prevent  this  is  to  carry  out  the  plan  now  in  pro- 
gress, of  giving  to  India  in  an  accessible  shape  the 
medical   science  of  Europe — a   plan    first  adopted 
under  Lord  W.  Bentinck,  prosecuted  by  Lord  Auck- 
land, and  superintended  by  two  able  and  excellent 
men — Doctors  Goodeve  and  O'Shoughnessy.    It  will 
be  one  of  the  greatest  blessings  that  India  has  ever 
received  from  Ensfland. 




The  country  between  Delhi  and  Meerut  is  well 
cultivated,  and  rich  in  the  latent  power  of  its  soil ; 
but  there  is  here,  as  everywhere  else  in  the  upper 
provinces,  a  lamentable  want  of  gradations  in  society, 
from  the  eternal  subdivision  of  property  in  land  ;  and 
the  want  of  that  concentration  of  capital  in  com- 
merce and  manufactures  which  characterise  Euro- 
pean— or  I  may  take  a  wider  range,  and  say  Christian 
societies.  Where,  as  in  India,  the  landlords'  share 
of  the  annual  returns  from  the  soil  has  been  always 
taken  by  the  government  as  the  most  legitimate 
fund  for  the  payment  of  its  public  establishments ; 
aiid  the  estates  of  the  farmers,  and  the  holdings  of 
the  immediate  cultivators  of  the  soil,  are  liable  to  be 
subdivided  in  equal  shares  among  the  sons  in  every 


TAXATION    IN    INDIA.  347 

succeeding  generation,  the  land  can  never  aid  much 
directly  in  giving  to  society  that,  without  which  no 
society  can  possibly  be  well  organised — a  gradation 
of  rank.     Were  the  government  to  alter  the  system, 
to  give  up  all  the  rent  of  the  lands,  and  thereby  con- 
vert all  the  farmers  into  proprietors  of  their  estates, 
the   case    would  not  be    much  altered,  while   the 
Hindoo  and  Mahomedan  law  of  inheritance  remained 
the  same ;  for  the  eternal  subdivision  would  still  go 
on,  and  reduce  all  connected  with   the  soil  to   one 
common  level ;  and  the  people  would  be  harassed 
with  a  multiplicity  of  taxes,  from  which  they  are  now 
free,  that  would  have  to  be  imposed  to  supply  the 
place  of  the  rent  given  up.     The  agricultural  capi- 
talists who  derived  their  incomes  from  the  interest  of 
money  advanced  to  the  farmers  and  cultivators  for 
subsistence  and  the  purchase  of  stock,  were  com- 
monly men  of  rank  and  influence  in  society ;  but 
they  were  never  a  numerous  class.     The  mass  of  the 
people  in  India  are  really  not  at  present  sensible 
that  they  pay  any  taxes  at  all.     The  only  necessary 
of  life,  whose  price  is  at  all  increased  by  taxes,  is  salt, 
and  the  consumer  is  hardly  aware  of  this  increase. 
The  natives  never  eat  salted  meat ;  and  though  they 
require  a  great  deal  of  salt,   living,  as  they  do,  so 
much  on  vegetable  food  ;  still  they  purchase  it  in 
such   small  quantities  from  day  to  day  as  they  re- 
quire it,  that  they  really  never  think  of  the  tax  that 
may  have  been  paid  upon  it  in  its  progress.     To  un- 
derstand the  nature  of  taxation  in  India,  an  English- 


man  should  suppose  that  all  the  non-farming  land- 
holders of  his  native  country  had,  a  century  or  two 
ago,  consented  to  resign  their  property  into  the 
hands  of  their  sovereign,  for  the  maintenance  of  his 
civil  functionaries,  army,  navy,  church,  and  public  cre- 
ditors— and  then  suddenly  disappeared  from  the  com- 
munity, leaving,  to  till  the  lands,  merely  the  farmers 
and  the  cultivators ;  and  that  their  forty  millions  of 
rent  were  just  the  sum  that  the  government  now 
required  to  pay  all  these  four  great  establishments. 
To  understand  the  nature  of  the  public  debt  of  Eng- 
land, a  man  has  only  to  suppose  one  great  national 
establishment,  twice  as  large  as  those  of  the  civil 
functionaries,  the  army,  navy,  and  the  church  toge- 
ther, and  composed  of  members  with  fixed  salaries, 
who  purchased  their  commissions  from  the  "  wisdom 
of  our  ancestors,''  with  liberty  to  sell  them  to  whom 
they  please — who  have  no  duty  to  perform  for  the 
public,*  and  have,  like  Adam  and  Eve,  the  privilege 
of  going  to  "  seek  their  place  of  rest"  in  what  part  of 
the  world  they  please — a  privilege  of  which  they  will 
of  course  be  found  more  and  more  anxious  to  avail 
themselves,  as  taxation  presses  on  the  one  side,  and 
prohibition  to  the  import  of  the  necessaries  of  life 
diminishes  the  means  of  paying  them  on  the  other. 
The  repeal  of  the  Corn  Laws  may  give  a  new  lift  to 
England — it  may   greatly  increase  the  foreign  de- 

*  They  have  no  duty  to  perform  as  creditors  ;  but  as  citizens 
of  an  enlightened  nation  they  no  doubt  perform  many  of  them, 
very  important  ones. 


mand  for  the  produce  of  its  manufacturing  industry — 
it  may  invite  back  a  large  portion  of  those  who  now 
spend  their  incomes  in  foreign  countries,  and  prevent 
from  going  abroad  to  reside,  a  vast  number  who 
would  otherwise  go.  These  laws  must  soon  be  re- 
pealed, or  England  must  greatly  reduce  one  or  other 
of  its  great  establishments — the  national  debt,  the 
church,  the  army,  or  the  navy.  The  Corn  Laws  press 
upon  England  just  in  the  same  manner  as  the  dis- 
covery of  the  passage  to  India,  by  the  Cape  of  Good 
Hope,  pressed  upon  Venice  and  the  other  states, 
whose  welfare  depended  upon  the  transit  of  the  pro- 
duce of  India  by  land.  But  the  navigation  of  the 
Cape  benefited  all  other  European  nations  at  the 
same  time  that  it  pressed  upon  those  particular 
states,  by  giving  them  all  the  produce  of  India  at 
cheaper  rates  than  they  would  otherwise  have  got  it, 
and  by  opening  the  markets  of  India  to  the  produce 
of  all  other  European  nations.  The  Corn  Laws  be- 
nefit only  one  small  section  of  the  people  of  England, 
while  they  weigh,  like  an  incubus,  upon  the  vital 
energies  of  all  the  rest ;  and,  at  the  same  time,  in- 
jure  all  other  nations  by  preventing  their  getting  the 
produce  of  manufacturing  industry  so  cheap  as  they 
would  otherwise  get  it.  They  have  not,  therefore, 
the  merit  of  benefiting  other  nations,  at  the  same 
time  that  they  crush  their  own. 

For  some  twenty  or  thirty  years  of  our  rule,  too 
many  of  the  collectors  of  our  land  revenue,  in  what 
we  call  the  western  provinces,  sought  the  "  bubble 


reputation"  in  an  increase  of  assessment  upon  the 
lands  of  their  district  every  five  years,  when  the  set- 
tlement was  renewed.  The  more  the  assessment  was 
increased,  the  greater  was  the  praise  bestowed  upon 
the  collector  by  the  revenue  boards,  or  the  revenue 
secretary  to  government,  in  the  name  of  the 
Governor-General  of  India.  These  collectors  found 
an  easy  mode  of  acquiring  this  reputation — they  left 
the  settlements  to  their  native  officers,  and  shut  their 
ears  to  all  complaints  of  grievances,  till  they  had  re- 
duced all  the  landholders  of  their  districts  to  one 
common  level  of  beggary,  without  stock,  character, 
or  credit ;  and  transferred  a  great  portion  of  their 
estates  to  the  native  officers  of  their  own  courts 
through  the  medium  of  the  auction  sales  that  took 
place  for  the  arrears,  or  pretended  arrears,  of  revenue. 
A  better  feeling  has  for  some  years  past  prevailed ; 
and  collectors  have  sought  their  reputation  in  a  real 
knowledge  of  their  duties,  and  a  real  good  feeling 
towards  the  farmers  and  cultivators  of  their  districts. 
For  this  better  tone  of  feeling,  the  western  provinces 
are,  I  believe,  chiefly  indebted  to  Mr.  R.  M.  Bird, 
of  the  revenue  board,  one  of  the  most  able  public 
officers  now  in  India.  A  settlement  for  twenty 
years  is  now  in  progress  that  will  leave  the  farmers 
at  least  thirty-five  per  cent.,  upon  the  gross  collec- 
tions,  from  the  immediate  cultivators  of  the  soil,* 

*  Fifty  per  cent,  may  be  considered  as  the  average  rate  left  to 
the  lessees  or  proprietors  of  estates  under  this  new  settlement ; 
and  if  they  take  on  an  average  one-third  of  the  gross  produce. 


that  is,  the  amount  of  the  revenue  demandable  by  go- 
vernment from  the  estate,  will  be  that  less  than  what 
the  farmer  will,  and  would,  under  any  circumstances, 
levy  from  the  cultivators  in  his  detailed  settlement. 
The  farmer  lets  all  the  land  of  his  estate  out  to  cul- 
tivators, and  takes  in  money  this  rate  of  profit  for 
his  expense,  trouble,  and  risk ;  or  he  lets  out  to  the 
cultivators  enough  to  pay  the  government  demand, 
and  tills  the  rest  with  his  own  stock,  rent  free.  When 
a  division  takes  place  between  his  sons,  they  either 
divide  the  estate,  and  become  each  responsible  for 
his  particular  share,  or  they  divide  the  profits,  and 
remain  collectively  responsible  to  government  for  the 
whole,  leaving  one  member  of  the  family  registered 
as  the  lessee  and  responsible  head. 

In  the  Ryutwar  system  of  southern  India,  go- 
vernment officers,  removable  at  the  pleasure  of  the 
government  collector,  are  substituted  for  these 
farmers,  or  more  properly  proprietors  of  estates ; 
and  a  system  more  prejudicial  to  the  best  interests 
of  society,  could  not  well  be  devised  by  the  ingenuity 
of  man.  It  has  been  supposed  by  some  theorists, 
who  are  practically  unacquainted  with  agriculture  in 
this  or  any  other  country,  that  all  who  have  any  in- 
terest in  the  land  above  the  rank  of  cultivator,  or 
ploughman,  are  mere  drones,  or  useless  consumers  of 
that  rent  which,  under  judicious  management,  might 

government  takes  two-ninths.  But  we  may  rate  the  government 
share  of  the  produce  actually  taken  at  one-fifth  as  the  maximum, 
and  one-tenth  as  the  minimum. 


be  added  to  the  revenues  of  government — that  all 
which  they  get  might,  and  ought  to  be,  either  left 
with  the  cultivators  or  taken  by  the  government. 
At  the  head  of  these  is  the  justly  celebrated  historian 
Mr.  Mill.  But  men  who  understand  the  subject 
practically,  know  that  the  intermediate  agency  of  a 
farmer,  who  has  a  feeling  of  permanent  interest  in 
the  estate,  or  an  interest  for  a  long  period,  is  a  thou- 
sand times  better,  both  for  the  government  and  the 
people,  than  that  of  a  government  officer  of  any  de- 
scription, much  less  that  of  one  removable  at  the  will 
of  the  collector.  Government  can  always  get  more 
revenue  from  a  village  under  the  management  of 
the  farmer ;  the  character  of  the  cultivators  and  vil- 
lage community  generally  is  much  better ;  the  tillage 
is  much  better ;  and  the  produce,  from  more  careful 
weeding  and  attention  of  all  kinds,  sells  much  better 
in  the  market.  The  better  character  of  the  culti- 
vators enables  them  to  get  the  loans  they  require  to 
purchase  stock,  and  to  pay  the  government  demand 
on  more  moderate  terms  from  the  capitalists,  who 
rely  upon  the  farmer,  to  aid  in  the  recovery  of 
their  outlays,  without  reference  to  civil  courts,  which 
are  ruinous  media,  as  well  in  India  as  in  other  places. 
The  farmer  or  landlord  finds,  in  the  same  manner, 
that  he  can  get  much  more  from  lands  let  out  on 
lease  to  the  cultivators  or  yeomen,  who  depend  upon 
their  own  character,  credit,  and  stock,  than  he  can 
from  similar  lands  cultivated  with  his  own  stock,  and 
hired  labourers  can  never  be  got  to  labour  either  so 


long  or  so  well.  The  labour  of  the  Indian  cultivating 
lessee  is  always  applied  in  the  proper  quantity,  and 
at  the  proper  time  and  place — that  of  the  hired  field- 
labourer  hardly  ever  is.  The  skilful  coachmaker  always 
puts  on  the  precise  quantity  of  iron  required  to  make 
his  coach  strong,  because  he  knows  where  it  is  re- 
quired ;  his  coach  is,  at  the  same  time,  as  light  as  it 
can  be,  with  safety.  The  unskilful  workman  either 
puts  on  too  much,  and  makes  his  coach  heavy ; 
or  he  puts  it  in  the  wrong  place,  and  leaves  it 

If  government  extends  the  twenty  years'  settle- 
ment, now  in  progress,  to  fifty  years  or  more,  they 
will  confer  a  great  blessing  upon  the  people,  and 
they  might,  perhaps,  do  it  on  the  condition  that  the 
incumbent  consented  to  allow  the  lease  to  descend 
undivided  to  his  heirs  by  the  law  of  primogeniture. 
To  this  condition  all  classes  would  readily  agree,  for 
I  have  heard  Hindoo  and  Mahomedan  landholders 
all  equally  lament  the  evil  effects  of  the  laws  by 
which  families  are  so  quickly  and  inevitably  broken 
up ;  and  say,  "  that  it  is  the  duty  of  government  to 
take  advantage  of  their  power,  as  the  great  pro- 
prietor and  leaser  of  all  the  lands,  to  prevent  the 
evil,  by  declaring  leases  indivisable.  There  would 
then,"  they  say,  "  be  always  one  head  to  assist  in 
maintaining  the  widows  and  orphans  of  deceased 
members,  in  educating  his  brothers  and  nephews ; 
and  by  his  influence  and  respectability,  procuring 
employment  for  them."     In  such  men,  with  feelings 

VOL.    II.  A    A 



of  permanent  interest  in  their  estates,  and  in  the 
stability  of  the  government  that  secured  them  pos- 
session on  such  favourable  terms,  and  with  the 
means  of  educating  their  children,  we  should  by-and- 
by  find  our  best  support,  and  society  its  best  ele- 
ment. The  law  of  primogeniture  at  present  prevails 
only  where  it  is  most  mischievous  under  our  rule, 
among  the  feudal  chiefs,  whose  ancestors  rose  to  dis- 
tinction, and  acquired  their  possessions  by  rapine  in 
times  of  invasion  and  civil  wars.  This  law  among 
them  tends  to  perpetuate  the  desire  to  maintain 
those  military  establishments,  by  which  the  founders 
of  their  families  rose,  in  the  hope  that  the  times  of 
invasion  and  civil  wars  may  return,  and  open  to 
them  a  similar  field  for  exertion.  It  fosters  a  class 
of  powerful  men,  essentially  and  irredeemably  opposed 
in  feeling,  not  only  to  our  rule,  but  to  settled  go- 
vernment under  any  rule  ;  and  the  sooner  the  Hindoo 
law  of  inheritance  is  allowed  by  the  paramount 
power,  to  take  its  course  among  these  feudal  chiefs,  the 
better  for  society.  There  is  always  a  strong  tendency 
to  it,  in  the  desire  of  the  younger  brothers,  to  share 
in  the  loaves  and  fishes ;  and  this  tendency  is  checked 
only  by  the  injudicious  interposition  of  our  autho- 

To  give  India  the  advantage  of  free  institutions, 
or  all  the  blessings  of  which  she  is  capable,  under  an 
enlightened  paternal  government,  nothing  is  more 
essential  than  the  supercession  of  this  feudal  aristo- 
cracy by  one  founded  upon  other  bases,  and,  above 


all,  upon  that  of  the  concentration  of  capital  in  com- 
merce and  manufactures.  Nothing  tends  so  much 
to  prevent  the  accumulation  and  concentration  of 
capital  over  India,  as  this  feudal  aristocracy  which 
tends  everywhere  to  destroy  that  feeling  of  security 
without  which  men  will  nowhere  accumulate  and 
concentrate  it.  They  do  so,  not  only  by  those  intrigues 
and  combinations  against  the  paramount  power, 
which  keep  alive  the  dread  of  internal  wars  and 
foreign  invasion,  but  by  those  gangs  of  robbers  and 
murderers  which  they  foster  and  locate  upon  their 
estates  to  prey  upon  the  more  favoured  or  better 
governed  territories  around  them.  From  those  gangs 
of  freebooters,  which  are  to  be  found  upon  the 
estate  of  almost  every  native  chief,  no  accumulation 
of  moveable  property  of  any  value  is  ever  for  a  mo- 
ment considered  safe,  and  those  who  happen  to  have 
any  such  are  always  in  dread  of  losing,  not  only  their 
property,  but  their  lives  along  with  it,  for  these  gangs, 
secure  in  the  protection  of  such  chief,  are  reckless 
in  their  attack,  and  kill  all  who  happen  to  come  in 
their  way. 

A   2 




Meerut  is  a  large  station  for  military  and  civil 
establishments ;  it  is  the  residence  of  a  civil  com- 
missioner, a  judge,  a  magistrate,  a  collector  of  land 
revenue,  and  all  their  assistants  and  establishments. 
There  are  the  major-general,  commanding  the  divi- 
sion ;  the  brigadier,  commanding  the  station ;  four 
troops  of  horse,  and  a  company  of  foot  artillery. 
One  regiment  of  European  cavalry,  one  of  European 
infantry,  one  of  native  cavalry,  and  three  of  native 
infantry.*      It  is    justly  considered    the  healthiest 

*  In  India  officers  have  much  better  opportunities,  in  time  of 
peace,  to  learn  how  to  handle  troops  than  in  England,  from 
having  them  more  concentrated  in  large  stations,  with  fine  open 
plains  to  exercise  upon.  During  the  whole  of  the  cold  season, 
from  the  beginning  of  November  to  the  end  of  February,  the 
troops  are  at  large  stations  exercised  in  brigades,  and  the  artillery, 
cavalry,  and  infantry  together. 


station  in  India,  for  both  Europeans  and  natives, 
and  I  visited  it  in  the  latter  end  of  the  cold,  which 
is  the  healthiest  season  of  the  year ;  yet  the  Euro- 
pean ladies  were  looking  as  if  they  had  all  come  out 
of  their  graves,  and  talking  of  the  necessity  of  going 
off  to  the  mountains,  to  renovate  as  soon  as  the  hot 
weather  should  set  in.  They  had  literally  been  fagging 
themselves  to  death  with  gaiety,  at  this  the  gayest  and 
most  delightful  of  all  Indian  stations,  during  the  cold 
months,  when  they  ought  to  have  been  laying  in  a 
store  of  strength  to  carry  them  through  the  trying 
seasons  of  the  hot  winds  and  rains.  Up  every  night, 
and  all  night,  at  balls  and  suppers,  they  could  never 
go  out  to  breathe  the  fresh  air  of  the  morning ;  and 
were  looking  wretchedly  ill,  while  the  European 
soldiers  from  the  barracks  seemed  as  fresh  as  if  they 
had  never  left  their  native  land !  There  is  no  doubt 
that  sitting  up  late  at  night  is  extremely  prejudicial 
to  the  health  of  Europeans  in  India.  I  have  never 
seen  the  European,  male  or  female,  that  could  stand 
it  long,  however  temperate  in  habits ;  and  an  old 
friend  of  mine  once  told  me,  that  if  he  went  to  bed 
a  little  exhilarated  every  night  at  ten  o'clock,  and 
took  his  ride  in  the  morning,  he  found  himself  much 
better  than  if  he  sat  up  till  twelve  or  one  o'clock 
without  drinking,  and  lay  a-bed  in  the  mornings. 
Almost  all  the  gay  pleasures  of  society  in  India  are 
enjoyed  at  night ;  and  as  ladies  here,  as  everywhere 
else  in  Christian  societies,  are  the  life  and  soul  of  all 
good  parties,  as  of  all  good  novels,  they  often,  to 


oblige  others,  sit  up  late,  much  against  their  own 
inclinations,  and  even  their  judgments,  aware,  as  they 
are,  that  they  are  gradually  sinking  under  the  undue 

When  I  first  came  to  India  there  were  a  few 
ladies  of  the  old  school  still  much  looked  up  to  in 
Calcutta,  and  among  the  rest  the  grandmother  of 
the  Earl  of  Liverpool,  the  old  Begum  Johnstone, 
then  between  seventy  and  eighty  years  of  age.*'  All 
these  old  ladies  prided  themselves  upon  keeping  up 
old  usages.  They  used  to  dine  in  the  afternoon  at 
four  or  five  o'clock — take  their  airing  after  dinner  in 
their  carriages ;  and  from  the  time  they  returned, 
till  ten  at  night,  their  houses  were  lit  up  in  their 
best  style,  and  thrown  open  for  the  reception  of 
visitors.  All  who  were  on  visiting  terms  came  at 
this  time,  with  any  strangers  whom  they  wished  to 
introduce,  and  enjoyed  each  other's  society;  there 
were  music  and  dancing  for  the  young,  and  cards  for 
the  old,  when  the  party  assembled  happened  to  be 
large  enough ;  and  a  few  who  had  been  previously 
invited  staid  supper.  I  often  visited  the  old  Begum 
Johnstone  at  this  hour,  and  met  at  her  house  the 
first  people  in  the  country,  for  all  people,  including 
the  Governor-general  himself,  delighted  to  honour 

*  The  late  Earl  of  Liverpool,  then  Mr.  Jenkinson,  married 
this  old  lady's  daughter.  He  was  always  very  attentive  to  her, 
and  she  used,  with  feelings  of  great  pride  and  pleasure,  to  display 
the  contents  of  the  boxes  of  milHnery  which  he  used  every  year 
to  send  out  to  her. 


this  old  lady,  the  widow  of  a  Governor-general  of 
India,  and  the  mother-in-law  of  a  prime  minister  of 
England.  She  was  at  Moorshedabad  when  Sooruj- 
od-Doula  marched  from  that  place  at  the  head  of 
the  army,  that  took  and  plundered  Calcutta,  and 
caused  so  many  Europeans  to  perish  in  the  black 
hole;  and  she  was  herself  saved  from  becoming  a 
member  of  his  seraglio,  or  perishing  with  the  rest,  by 
the  circumstance  of  her  being  far  gone  in  her  preg- 
nancy, which  caused  her  to  be  made  over  to  a  Dutch 

She  had  been  a  very  beautiful  woman,  and  had 
been  several  times  married ;  the  pictures  of  all  her 
husbands  being  hung  round  her  noble  drawing-room 
in  Calcutta,  covered  during  the  day  with  crimson 
cloth,  to  save  them  from  the  dust,  and  uncovered  at 
night  only  on  particular  occasions.  One  evening 
Mrs.  Crommelin,  a  friend  of  mine,  pointing  to  one  of 
them,  asked  the  old  lady  his  name.  "  Really  I  can- 
not at  this  moment  tell  you,  my  dear ;  my  memory 
is  very  bad,  (striking  her  forehead  with  her  right 
hand,  as  she  leaned  with  her  left  arm  in  Mrs.  Crom- 
melin's,)  but  I  shall  recollect  in  a  few  minutes." 
The  old  lady's  last  husband  was  a  clergyman,  one  of 
the  presidency  chaplains,  Mr.  Johnstone,  whom  she 
found  too  gay,  and  persuaded  to  go  home  upon  an 
annuity  of  eight  hundred  a  year,  which  she  settled 
upon  him  for  life.  The  bulk  of  her  fortune  went 
to  Lord  Liverpool,  the  rest  to  her  grandchildren — 
the  Rickets,  Watts,  and  others. 


Since  those  days,  the  modes  of  intercourse  in 
India  have  much  altered.  Societies  at  all  the  sta- 
tions, beyond  the  three  capitals  of  Calcutta,  Madras, 
and  Bombay,  is  confined  almost  exclusively  to  the 
members  of  the  civil  and  military  services,  who  sel- 
dom remain  long  at  the  same  station — the  military 
officers  hardly  ever  more  than  three  years,  and  the 
civil  hardly  ever  so  long.  At  disagreeable  stations, 
the  civil  servants  seldom  remain  so  many  months. 
Every  new-comer  calls  in  the  forenoon  upon  all  that 
are  at  the  station  when  he  arrives ;  and  they  return 
his  call  at  the  same  hour  soon  after.  If  he  is  a  mar- 
ried man,  the  married  men,  upon  whom  he  has  called* 
take  their  wives  to  call  upon  his ;  and  he  takes  his 
to  return  the  call  of  theirs.  These  calls  are  all  in- 
dispensable ;  and,  being  made  in  the  forenoon,  be- 
come very  disagreeable  in  the  hot  season :  all  com- 
plain of  them,  yet  no  one  foregoes  his  claim  upon 
them ;  and  till  the  claim  is  fulfilled,  people  will  not 
recognise  each  other  as  acquaintances.  Unmarried 
officers  generally  dine  in  the  evening,  because  it  is 
a  more  convenient  hour  for  the  mess ;  and  married 
civil  functionaries  do  the  same,  because  it  is  more 
convenient  for  their  office  work.  If  you  invite  those 
who  dine  at  that  hour  to  spend  the  evening  with 
you,  you  must  invite  them  to  dinner  even  in  the  hot 
weather ;  and  if  they  invite  you,  it  is  to  dinner.  This 
makes  intercourse  somewhat  heavy  at  all  times,  but 
more  especially  so  in  the  hot  season,  when  a  table 
covered  with  animal  food  is  sickening  to  any  person 

PLAN    OF    LIVING.  361 

without  a  keen  appetite,  and  stupifying  to  those  who 
have  it.  No  one  thinks  of  inviting  people  to  a  din- 
ner and  ball — it  would  be  vandalism ;  and  when  you 
invite  them,  as  is  always  the  case,  to  come  after 
dinner,  the  ball  never  begins  till  late  at  night,  and 
seldom  ends  till  late  in  the  morning !  With  all  its 
disadvantages,  however,  I  think  dining  in  the  even- 
ing much  better  for  those  who  are  in  health,  than 
dining  in  the  afternoon,  provided  people  can  avoid 
the  intermediate  meal  of  tiffin.  No  person  in  India 
should  eat  animal  food  more  than  once  a  day ;  and 
people  who  dine  in  the  evening  generally  eat  less 
than  they  would  if  they  dined  in  the  afternoon.  A 
light  breakfast  at  nine ;  biscuit,  or  a  slice  of  toast 
with  a  glass  of  water,  or  soda-water,  at  two  o'clock, 
and  dinner,  after  the  evening  exercise,  is  the  plan 
which  I  should  recommend  every  European  to  adopt 
in  India  as  the  most  agreeable.  When  their  diges- 
tive powers  get  out  of  order,  people  must  do  as  the 
doctors  tell  them. 

There  is,  I  believe,  no  society  in  which  there  is 
more  real  urbanity  of  manners  than  in  that  of  India — 
a  more  general  disposition  on  the  part  of  its  different 
members  to  sacrifice  their  own  comforts  and  conve- 
nience to  those  of  others,  and  to  make  those  around 
them  happy,  without  letting  them  see  that  it  costs 
them  an  effort  to  do  so.  There  is  assuredly  no  so- 
ciety where  the  members  are  more  generally  free 
from  those  corroding  cares  and  anxieties  which 
**  weigh  upon  the  hearts"  of  men  whose  incomes  are 


precarious,  and  position  in  the  world  uncertain. 
They  receive  their  salaries  on  a  certain  day  every 
month,  whatever  may  be  the  state  of  the  seasons,  or 
of  trade ;  they  pay  no  taxes,  they  rise  in  the  several 
services  by  rotation ;  religious  feelings  and  opinions 
are  by  common  consent  left  as  a  question  between 
man  and  his  Maker ;  no  one  ever  thinks  of  question- 
ing another  about  them,  nor  would  he  be  tolerated 
if  he  did  so.  Most  people  take  it  for  granted,  that 
those  which  they  got  from  their  parents  were  the 
right  ones ;  and  as  such  they  cherish  them.  They 
remember,  with  feelings  of  filial  piety,  the  prayers 
which  they,  in  their  infancy,  offered  to  their  Maker, 
while  kneeling  by  the  side  of  their  mothers;  and 
they  continue  to  offer  them  up  through  life,  with  the 
same  feelings  and  the  same  hopes. 

Differences  of  political  opinion,  which  agitate  so- 
ciety so  much  in  England  and  other  countries,  where 
every  man  believes  that  his  own  personal  interests 
must  always  be  more  or  less  affected  by  the  predo- 
minance of  one  party  over  another,  are  no  doubt  a 
source  of  much  interest  to  people  in  India ;  but  they 
scarcely  ever  excite  any  angry  passions  among  them. 
The  tempests  by  which  the  political  atmosphere  of 
the  world  is  cleared  and  purged  of  all  its  morbid  in- 
fluences, burst  not  upon  us — we  see  them  at  a  dis- 
tance— we  know  that  they  are  working  good  for  all 
mankind ;  and  we  feel  for  those  who  boldly  expose 
themselves  to  their  "  pitiless  peltings,"  as  men  feel 
for  the  sailors  whom  they  suppose  to  be  exposed  on 

SOCIEEY    IN    INDIA.  363 

the  ocean  to  the  storm,  while  they  listen  to  it  from 
their  beds  or  their  winter  firesides.  We  discuss  all 
political  opinions,  and  all  the  great  questions  which 
they  affect,  with  the  calmness  of  philosophers;  not  with- 
out emotion  certainly,  but  without  passion :  we  have 
no  share  in  returning  members  to  parliament — we 
feel  no  dread  of  those  injuries,  indignities,  and  ca^ 
lumnies  to  which  those  who  have  are  too  often  ex- 
posed ;  and  we  are  free  from  the  bitterness  of  feel- 
ings which  always  attend  them.  How  exalted,  how 
glorious  has  been  the  destiny  of  England,  to  spread 
over  so  vast  a  portion  of  the  globe,  her  literature, 
her  language,  and  her  free  institutions !  How  ought 
the  sense  of  this  high  destiny  to  animate  her  sons  in 
their  efforts  to  perfect  those  institutions  which  they 
have  formed  by  slow  degrees  from  feudal  barbarism ; 
to  make  them,  in  reality,  as  perfect  as  they  would 
have  them  appear  to  the  world  to  be  in  theory,  that 
rising  nations  may  love  and  honour  the  source 
whence  they  derive  theirs,  and  continue  to  look  to  it 
for  improvement. 

We  return  to  the  society  of  our  wives  and  chil- 
dren after  the  labours  of  the  day  are  over,  with 
tempers  unruffled  by  collision  with  political  and  re- 
ligious antagonists,  by  unfavourable  changes  in  the 
state  of  the  seasons  and  the  markets,  and  the  other 
circumstances  which  affect  so  much  the  incomes  and 
prospects  of  our  friends  at  home.  We  must  look  to 
them  for  the  chief  pleasures  of  our  lives,  and  know 
that  they  must  look  to  us  for  theirs  ;  and  if  anything 


has  crossed  us  we  try  to  conceal  it  from  them.  There 
is  in  India  a  strong  feeling  of  mutual  dependence, 
that  prevents  little  domestic  misunderstandings  be- 
tween man  and  wife  from  growing  into  quarrels  so 
often  as  in  other  countries,  where  this  is  less  preva- 
lent. Men  have  not  here  their  clubs,  nor  their  wives 
their  little  coteries,  to  fly  to  when  disposed  to  make 
serious  matters  out  of  trifles  ;  and  both  are  in  conse- 
quence much  inclined  to  bear  and  forbear.  There 
are,  of  course,  on  the  other  hand,  evils  in  India  that 
people  have  not  to  contend  with  at  home ;  but,  on 
the  whole,  those  who  are  disposed  to  look  on  the 
fair,  as  well  as  on  the  dark  side  of  all  around  them, 
can  enjoy  life  in  India  very  much,  as  long  as  they 
and  those  dear  to  them  are  free  from  physical  pain. 
We  everywhere  find  too  many  disposed  to  look  upon 
the  dark  side  of  all  that  is  present,  and  the  bright 
side  of  all  that  is  distant  in  time  and  place — always 
miserable  themselves,  be  where  they  will ;  and  making 
all  around  them  miserable:  this  commonly  arises 
from  indigestion  ;  and  this  from  a  habit  of  eating  and 
drinking  in  a  hot,  as  they  would  in  a  cold  climate ; 
and  giving  their  stomachs  too  much  to  do,  as  if 
they  were  the  only  parts  of  the  human  frame  whose 
energies  were  unrelaxed  by  the  temperature  of  tro- 
pical climates.  There  is,  however,  one  great  defect 
in  Anglo-Indian  society ;  it  is  composed  too  exclu- 
sively of  the  servants  of  government,  civil,  military, 
and  ecclesiastic,  and  wants  much  of  the  freshness, 
variety,  and  intelligence  of  cultivated  societies  other- 

SOCIETY    IN    INDIA.  365 

wise  constituted.     In  societies  where  capital  is  con- 
centrated for  employment  in  large  agricultural,  com- 
mercial,   and  manufacturing   establishments,    those 
who  possess  and  employ  it,   form  a  large  portion  of 
the  middle  and  higher  classes.     They  require  the 
application  of  the  higher  branches  of  science  to  the 
efficient  employment  of  their  capital  in  almost  every 
purpose  to  which  it  can  be  applied ;  and  they  re- 
quire, at  the  same  time,  to  show  that  they  are  not 
deficient  in  that  conventional  learning  of  the  schools 
and  drawing-rooms,  to  which  the  circles  they  live 
and  move  in,  attach  importance.     In  such  societies 
we  are,  therefore,  always  coming  in  contact  with 
men  whose  scientific  knowledge  is  necessarily  very 
precise,  and  at  the  same  time  very  extensive,  while 
their  manners  and  conversation  are  of  the  highest 
polish.     There  is,  perhaps,  nothing  which  strikes  a 
gentleman  from  India  so  much  on  his  entering  a 
society  differently  constituted,  as  the  superior  pre- 
cision of  men's  information  upon  scientific  subjects ; 
and  more  especially  upon  that  of  the  sciences  more 
immediately  applicable  to    the  arts   by  which  the 
physical  enjoyments  of  man  are  produced,  prepared, 
and  distributed  over  the  world.     Almost  all  men  in 
India  feel,  that  too  much  of  their  time,  before  they 
left  England,  was  devoted  to  the  acquisition  of  the 
dead  languages ;  and  too  little  to  the  study  of  the 
elements  of  science.     The  time  lost  can  never  be 
regained — at  least  they  think  so,  which  is  much  the 
same  thing.     Had  they  been  well-grounded  in  the 


elements  of  physics,  physiology,  and  chemistry,  be- 
fore they  left  their  native  land,  they  would  have 
gladly  devoted  their  leisure  to  the  improvement  of 
their  knowledge ;  but  to  go  back  to  elements,  where 
elements  can  be  learnt  only  from  books,  is,  unhap- 
pily, what  so  few  can  bring  themselves  to,  that  no 
man  feels  ashamed  of  acknowledging,  that  he  has 
never  studied  them  at  all,  till  he  returns  to  England, 
or  enters  a  society  differently  constituted,  and  finds 
that  he  has  lost  the  support  of  the  great  majority 
that  always  surrounded  him  in  India.   It  will,  perhaps, 
be  said,  that  the  members  of  the  official  aristocracy 
of  all  countries  have  more  or  less  of  the  same  de- 
fects, for  certain  it  is,  that  they  everywhere  attach 
paramount  or  undue  importance  to  the  conventional 
learning  of  the  grammar-school  and  the  drawing- 
room,  and  the  ignorant  and  the  indolent  have  perhaps 
everywhere  the  support  of  a  great  majority.     John- 
son has,  however,  observed — "  But  the  truth  is,  that 
the  knowledge  of  external  nature,  and  the  sciences, 
which  that  knowledge  requires  or  includes,  are  not 
the   great  or  the  frequent  business  of  the  human 
mind.     Whether  we  provide  for  action  or  conversa- 
tion, whether  we  wish  to  be  useful  or  pleasing,  the 
first  requisite  is  the  religious  and  moral  knowledge 
of  right  and  wrong  ;  the  next  is  an  acquaintance 
with  the  history  of  mankind,  and  with  those  examples 
which  may  be  said  to  embody  truth,  and  prove  by 
events  the  reasonableness  of  opinions.      Prudence 
and  justice  are  virtues  and  excellencies  of  all  times, 

SOCIETY    IN    INDIA.  367 

and  of  all  places — we  are  perpetually  moralists ;  but 
we  are  geometricians  only  by  chance.  Our  inter- 
course with  intellectual  nature  is  necessary ;  our  spe- 
culations upon  matter  are  voluntary  and  at  leisure. 
Physiological  learning  is  of  such  rare  emergence, 
that  one  may  know  another  half  his  life,  without 
being  able  to  estimate  his  skill  in  hydrostatics  or 
astronomy ;  but  his  moral  and  prudential  character 
immediately  appears.  Those  authors,  therefore,  are 
to  be  read  at  schools,  that  supply  most  axioms  of 
prudence,  most  principles  of  moral  truth,  and  most 
materials  for  conversation ;  and  these  purposes  are 
best  served  by  poets,  orators,  and  historians." — Life 
of  Milton. 




There  is  nothing  which  strikes  an  European  more 
in  travelling  over  the  great  roads  in  India  than  the 
vast  number  of  pilgrims  of  all  kinds  which  he  falls 
in  with,  particularly  between  the  end  of  November, 
when  all  the  autumn  harvest  has  been  gathered,  and 
the  seed  of  the  spring  crops  has  been  in  the  ground. 
They  consist,  for  the  most,  of  persons,  male  and 
female,  carrying  Ganges  water  from  the  point  at 
Hurdwar,  where  the  sacred  stream  emerges  from  the 
hills  to  the  different  temples  in  all  parts  of  India, 
dedicated  to  the  gods  Vishnoo  and  Sewa.  There 
the  water  is  thrown  upon  the  stones  which  represent 
the  gods,  and  when  it  falls  from  these  stones  it  is 
called  the  "  Chunda  Mirt,"  or  holy  water,  and  is  fre- 
quently collected  and  reserved  to  be  drunk  as  a  re- 
medy "  for  a  mind  diseased." 

This  water  is  carried  in  small  bottles,  bearing  the 
seals  of  the  presiding  priest  at  the  holy  place  whence 


it  is  brought.  The  bottles  are  contained  in  covered 
baskets,  fixed  to  the  ends  of  a  pole,  which  is  car- 
ried across  the  shoulder.  The  people  who  carry  it 
are  of  three  kinds  ;  those  who  carry  it  for  themselves 
as  a  votive  offering  to  some  shrine — those  who  are 
hired  for  the  purpose  by  others  as  salaried  servants — 
and,  thirdly,  those  who  carry  it  for  sale.  In  the  in- 
terval between  the  sowing  and  reaping  of  the  spring 
crops — that  is,  between  November  and  March,  a  very 
large  portion  of  the  Hindoo  landholders  and  culti- 
vators of  India,  devote  their  leisure  to  this  pious 
duty.  They  take  their  baskets  and  poles  with  them 
from  home,  or  purchase  them  on  the  road ;  and 
having  poured  their  libations  on  the  head  of  the  god, 
and  made  him  acquainted  with  their  wants  and  wishes, 
return  home.  From  November  to  March,  three- 
fourths  of  the  number  of  these  people  one  meets, 
consist  of  this  class.  At  other  seasons  more  than 
three-fourths  consist  of  the  other  two  classes— of 
persons  hired  for  the  purpose  as  servants,  and  those 
who  carry  the  water  for  sale. 

One  morning  the  old  Jemadar,  the  marriage  of 
whose  mango  grove  with  the  jasmine  I  have  already 
described,  brought  his  two  sons  and  a  nephew  to  pay 
their  respects  to  me  on  their  return  to  Jubbulpore 
from  a  pilgrimage  to  Jugurnath.  The  sickness  of 
the  youngest,  a  nice  boy  of  about  six  years  of  age, 
had  caused  this  pilgrimage.  The  eldest  son  was 
about  twenty  years  of  age,  and  the  nephew  about 

VOL.    II.  B    B 


After  the  usual  compliments,  I  addressed  the  eldest 
son — "  And  so  your  brother  was  really  very  ill  when 
you  set  out  ?" 

"  Very  ill,  sir ;  hardly  able  to  stand  without  as- 

"  What  was  the  matter  with  him  ?" 

"  It  was  what  we  call  a  drying  up,  or  withering 
of  the  system." 

"  What  were  the  symptoms?" 

"  Dysentery." 

"  Good.  And  what  cured  him,  as  he  now  seems 
quite  well?" 

"  Our  mother  and  father  vowed  five  pair  of  baskets 
of  Ganges  water  to  Gujadhur,  an  incarnation  of  the 
god  Sewa,  at  the  temple  of  Byjoonath,  and  a  visit  to 
the  temple  of  Jugurnath." 

"  And  having  fulfilled  these  vows,  your  brother 
recovered  ?" 

"  He  had  quite  recovered,  sir,  before  we  set  out 
on  our  return  from  Jugurnath." 

"  And  who  carried  the  baskets  ?" 

"  My  mother,  wife,  cousin,  myself,  and  little  bro- 
ther, all  carried  one  pair  each." 

"  This  little  boy  could  not  surely  carry  a  pair  of 
baskets  all  the  way  ?" 

"  No,  sir ;  we  had  a  pair  of  small  baskets  made 
especially  for  him;  and  when  within  about  three 
miles  of  the  temple,  he  got  down  from  his  little 
pony,  took  up  his  baskets,  and  carried  them  to  the 
god.     Up  to  within  three  miles  of  the  temple,  the 


baskets  were  carried  by  a  Brahman  servant,  whom 
we  had  taken  with  us  to  cook  our  food.  We  had 
with  us  another  Brahman,  to  whom  we  had  to  pay 
only  a  trifle,  as  his  principal  wages  were  made  up 
of  fees  from  families  in  the  town  of  Jubbulpore, 
who  had  made  similar  vows,  and  gave  him  so  much  a 
bottle  for  the  water  he  carried  in  their  several  names 
to  the  god?" 

"  Did  you  give  all  your  water  to  the  Byjoonath 
temple,  or  carry  some  with  you  to  Jugurnath  ?" 

"  No  water  is  ever  offered  to  Jugurnath,  sir ;  he  is 
an  incarnation  of  Vishnoo." 

"  And  does  Vishnoo  never  drink?" 

"He  drinks,  sir,  no  doubt;  but  he  gets  nothing 
but  offerings  of  food  and  money." 

"  And  what  is  the  distance  you  went  ?" 

"  From  this  to  Bindachul,  or  the  Ganges,  two 
hundred  and  thirty  miles ;  thence  to  Byjoonath,  a 
hundred  and  fifty  miles ;  and  thence  to  Jugurnatb 
some  four  or  five  hundred  miles  more." 

"  And  your  mother  and  wife  walked  all  the  way 
with  their  baskets  ?" 

"  All  the  way,  sir,  except  when  either  of  them 
got  sick,  when  she  mounted  the  pony  with  my  little 
brother,  till  she  felt  well  again." 

Here  were  four  members  of  a  respectable  family 
walking  a  pilgrimage  of  between  twelve  and  fourteen 
hundred  miles,  going  and  coming,  and  carrying  bur- 
thens on  their  shoulders  for  the  recovery  of  the  poor 
sick  boy;  and  millions  offamilies  are  every  year  doing 

B  B  2 


the  same  from  all  parts  of  India.  The  change  of 
air,  and  exercise,  cured  the  boy,  and  no  doubt  did 
them  all  a  great  deal  of  good ;  but  no  physician  in 
the  world,  but  a  religious  one,  could  have  persuaded 
them  to  undertake  such  a  journey  for  the  same 

The  rest  of  the  pilgrims  we  meet  are  for  the  most 
part  of  the  two  monastic  orders  of  Gosaens,  or  the 
followers  of  Sewa,  and  Byragees  or  followers  of 
Vishnoo,  and  Mahomedan  Fukeers.  A  Hindoo  of 
any  caste  may  become  a  member  of  these  monastic 
orders.  They  are  all  disciples  of  the  high  priests  of 
the  temples  of  their  respective  gods ;  and  in  their 
name  they  wander  over  all  India,  visiting  the  cele- 
brated temples  which  are  dedicated  to  them.  A 
part  of  the  revenues  of  these  temples  is  devoted  to 
subsisting  these  disciples  as  they  pass ;  and  every 
one  of  them  claims  the  right  of  a  day's  food  and 
lodging,  or  more,  according  to  the  rules  of  the  temple. 
They  make  collections  along  the  roads ;  and  when 
they  return,  commonly  bring  back  some  surplus  as 
an  offering  to  their  apostle,  the  high  priest  who  has 
adopted  them.  Almost  every  high  priest  has  a  good 
many  such  disciples,  as  they  are  not  costly  :  and 
from  them  returning  occasionally,  and  from  the  dis- 
ciples of  others  passing,  these  high  priests  learn 
everything  of  importance  that  is  going  on  over  India, 
and  are  well  acquainted  with  the  state  of  feeling  and 

What  these  disciples  get  from  secular  people,  is 


given  not  from  feelings  of  charity  or  compassion,  but 
as  a  religious  or  propitiatory  offering ;  for  they  are 
all  considered  to  be  armed  by  their  apostle  with  a 
vicarious  povv^er  of  blessing  or  cursing ;  and  as  being 
in  themselves  men  of  God,  whom  it  might  be  dan- 
gerous to  displease.  They  never  condescend  to 
feign  disease  or  misery  in  order  to  excite  feelings  of 
compassion,  but  demand  what  they  want  with  a  bold 
front,  as  holy  men  who  have  a  right  to  share  liberally 
in  the  superfluities  which  God  has  given  to  the  rest 
of  the  Hindoo  community.  They  are  in  general  ex- 
ceedingly intelligent  men  of  the  world,  and  very 
communicative.  Among  them  will  be  found  mem- 
bers of  all  classes  of  Hindoo  society;  and  of  the 
most  wealthy  and  respectable  families.  While  I 
had  charge  of  the  Nursingpoor  district,  in  1822,  a 
Byragee  or  follower  of  Vishnoo  came,  and  settled 
himself  down  on  the  border  of  a  village  near  my 
residence.  His  mild  and  paternal  deportment 
pleased  all  the  little  community  so  much,  that  they 
carried  him  every  day  more  food  than  he  required. 
At  last,  the  proprietor  of  the  village,  a  very  respect- 
able old  gentleman,  to  whom  I  was  much  attached, 
went  out  with  all  his  family  to  ask  a  blessing  of  the 
holy  man.  As  they  sat  down  before  him,  the  tears 
were  seen  stealing  down  over  his  cheeks  as  he  looked 
upon  the  old  man's  younger  sons  and  daughters.  At 
last,  the  old  man's  wife  burst  into  tears,  ran  up,  and  fell 
upon  the  holy  man's  neck,  exclaiming,  "  My  lost  son  ! 
my  lost  son  !"     He  was  indeed  her  eldest  son.     He 


had  disappeared  suddenly  twelve  years  before,  be- 
come a  disciple  of  the  high  priest  of  a  distant  temple, 
and  visited  almost  every  celebrated  temple  in  India, 
from  Kedernath  in  the  eternal  snows,  to  Seet  Buldee 
Ramesur,  opposite  the  island  of  Ceylon.  He  re- 
mained with  the  family  for  nearly  a  year,  delighting 
them  and  all  the  country  around  with  his  narratives. 
At  last,  he  seemed  to  lose  his  spirits,  his  usual  rest 
and  appetite ;  and  one  night  he  again  disappeared. 
He  had  been  absent  for  some  years  when  I  last  saw 
the  family ;  and  I  know  not  whether  he  ever  re- 

The  real  members  of  these  monastic  orders  are  not 
generally  bad  men ;  but  there  are  a  great  many  bad 
men  of  all  kinds  who  put  on  their  disguises,  and 
under  their  cloak  commit  all  kinds  of  atrocities. 
The  security  and  convenience  which  the  real  pil- 
grims enjoy  upon  our  roads,  and  the  entire  freedom 
from  all  taxation,  both  upon  these  roads,  and  at  the 
different  temples  they  visit,  tend  greatly  to  attach  them 
to  our  rule,  and  through  that  attachment,  a  tone  of 
good  feeling  towards  it  is  generally  disseminated  over 
all  India.  They  come  from  the  native  states,  and  be- 
come acquainted  with  the  superior  advantages  the 
people  under  us  enjoy,  in  the  greater  security  of 
property,  the  greater  freedom  with  which  it  is  en- 
joyed and  displayed ;  the  greater  exemption  from 
taxation,  and  the  odious  right  of  search  which  it  in- 
volves ;  the  greater  facilities  for  travelling  in  good 
roads  and  bridges ;  the  greater  respectability  and  in- 


tegrity  of  public  servants  arising  from  the  greater 
security  in  their  tenure  of  office,  and  more  adequate 
rate  of  avowed  salaries ;  the  entire  freedom  of  the 
navigation  of  our  great  rivers,  on  which  thousands 
and  tens  of  thousands  of  laden  vessels  now  pass  from 
one  end  to  the  other  without  any  one  to  question 
whence  they  come  or  whither  they  go.  These  are 
tangible  proofs  of  good  government,  which  all  can 
appreciate ;  and  as  the  European  gentleman,  in  his 
rambles  along  the  great  roads,  passes  the  lines  of 
pilgrims,  with  which  the  roads  are  crowded  during 
the  cold  season,  he  is  sure  to  hear  himself  hailed 
with  grateful  shouts,  as  one  of  those  who  secured  for 
them  and  the  people  generally  all  the  blessings  they 
now  enjoy. 

One  day  my  sporting  friend,  the  Rajah  of  Myhere, 
told  me  that  he  had  been  purchasing  some  water 
from  the  Ganges  at  its  source,  to  wash  the  image  of 
Vishnoo  which  stood  in  one  of  his  temples.  I  asked 
him  whether  he  ever  drank  the  water  after  the  image 
had  been  washed  in  it.  "  Yes,"  said  he,  "  we  all  occasi- 
onally drink  the  Chunda  Mirt."  "And  do  you  in 
the  same  manner  drink  the  water  in  which  the  god 
Sewa  has  been  washed  ?"  "  Never,"  said  the  Rajah. 
"  And  why  not  ?"  "  Because  his  wife,  Davey,  one 
day  in  a  domestic  quarrel,  cursed  him,  and  said,  '  The 
water  which  falls  from  thy  head,  shall  no  man  hence- 
forward drink.'  From  that  day,"  said  the  Rajah, 
"  no  man  has  ever  drunk  of  the  water  that  washes 
his  image,  lest  Davey  should  punish  him."     "  And 


how  is  it  then,  Rajah  Sahib,  that  mankind  continue 
to  drink  the  water  of  the  Ganges  which  is  supposed  to 
flow  from  her  husband  Sewa's  topknot  ?"  "  Because," 
replied  the  Rajah,  "  this  sacred  river  first  flows  from 
the  right  foot  of  the  god  Vishnoo,  and  thence  passes 
over  the  head  of  Sewa.  The  three  gods,"  continued 
the  Rajah,  "govern  the  world  turn  and  turn  about, 
twenty  years  at  a  time.  While  Vishnoo  reigns,  all 
goes  on  well ;  rain  descends  in  good  season,  the 
harvests  are  abundant,  and  the  cattle  thrive.  When 
Brahma  reigns,  there  is  little  falling  off*  in  these  mat- 
ters ;  but  during  the  twenty  years  that  Sewa  reigns, 
nothing  goes  on  well — we  are  all  at  cross  purposes ; 
our  crops  fail,  the  cattle  get  the  murrain,  and  man- 
kind suffer  from  epidemic  diseases."  The  Rajah  was 
a  follower  of  Vishnoo,  as  may  be  guessed. 




On  the  7th  February,  I  went  out  to  Sirdhana 
and  visited  the  church  built  and  endowed  by  the  late 
Begum  Sombre,  whose  remains  are  now  deposited 
in  it.  It  was  designed  by  an  Italian  gentleman, 
M.  Reglioni,  and  is  a  fine  but  not  a  striking  build- 
ing. I  met  the  bishop,  Julius  Caesar,  an  Italian 
from  Milan,  whom  I  had  known  a  quarter  of  a  cen- 
tury before,  a  happy  and  handsome  young  man — he 
is  still  handsome,  though  old ;  but  very  miserable, 
because  the  Begum  did  not  leave  him  so  large  a 
legacy  as  he  expected.  In  the  revenues  of  her 
church  he  had,  she  thought,  quite  enough  to  live 
upon ;  and  she  said,  that  priests,  without  wives  or 
children  to  care  about,  ought  to  be  satisfied  with 
this ;  and  left  him  only  a  few  thousand  rupees.  She 
made  him  the  medium  of  conveying  a  donation  to 
the  See  of  Rome  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
rupees ;  and  thereby  procured  for  him  the  bishopric 


of  Amartanta,  in  the  island  of  Cyprus  ;  and  got  her 
grandson,  Dyce  Sombre,  made  a  chevalier  of  the 
order  of  Christ,  and  presented  with  a  splint  from  the 
real  cross,  as  a  relict. 

The  Begum  Sombre  was  by  birth  a  Squadanee,  or 
lineal  descendant  from  Mahomed,  the  founder  of  the 
Mussulman  faith ;  and  she  was  united  to  Walter 
Reinhard  when  very  young,  by  all  the  forms  con- 
sidered necessary  by  persons  of  her  persuasion  when 
married  to  men  of  another.  Reinhard  had  been 
married  to  another  woman  of  the  Mussulman  faith, 
who  still  lives  at  Sirdhana,'^  but  she  had  become 
insane,  and  has  ever  since  remained  so.  By  this  first 
wife  he  had  a  son,  who  got  from  the  Emperor  the 
title  of  Zuffer  Yab  Khan,  at  the  request  of  the 
Begum,  his  step-mother ;  but  he  was  a  man  of  weak 
intellect,  and  so  little  thought  of,  that  he  was  not 
recognised  even  as  the  nominal  chief  on  the  death  of 
his  father. 

Walter  Reinhard  was  a  native  of  Saltsburg.  He 
enlisted  as  a  private  soldier  in  the  French  service, 
and  came  to  India,  where  he  entered  the  service  of 
the  East  India  Company,  and  rose  to  the  rank  of 
Serjeant.  Reinhard  got  the  soubriquet  of  Sombre 
from  his  comrades  while  in  the  French  service,  from 
the  sombre  cast  of  his  countenance  and  temper.    An 

*  This  first  wife  died  at  Sirdhana,  during  the  rainy  season  of 
1838.  She  must  have  been  above  one  hundred  years  of  age  ; 
and  a  good  many  of  the  Europeans  that  he  buried  in  the  Sirdhana 
cemetery,  had  lived  above  a  hundred  years. 


Armenian,  by  name  Gregory,  of  a  Calcutta  family, 
the  virtual  minister  of  Kasim  Alee  Khan,  under  the 
title  of  Gorgeen  Khan,  took  him  into  his  service, 
when  the  war  was  about  to  commence  between  his 
master  and  the  English.  Kasim  Alee  was  a  native 
of  Cashmere,  and  not  naturally  a  bad  man ;  but  he 
was  goaded  to  madness  by  the  injuries  and  insults 
heaped  upon  him  by  the  servants  of  the  East  India 
Company,  who  were  not  then  paid,  as  at  present,  in 
adequate  salaries,  but  in  profits  upon  all  kinds  of 
monopolies ;  and  they  would  not  suffer  the  recog- 
nised sovereign  of  the  country  in  which  they  traded, 
to  grant  to  his  subjects  the  same  exemption  from 
the  transit  duties  which  they  themselves  enjoyed,  as 
it  would,  they  argued,  tend  greatly  to  diminish  their 
incomes  !  He  insisted  upon  the  right  to  grant  his 
subjects  generally  the  same  exemption  that  they 
claimed  for  themselves  exclusively  ;  and  a  war  was 
the  consequence  !* 

Mr.  Ellis,  one  of  these  civil  servants  and  chief  of 
the    factory   at  Patna,   whose   opinions   had    more 

*  Mill  observes  upon  these  transactions  :  "  The  conduct  of  the 
Company's  servants  upon  this  occasion  furnishes  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  instances  upon  record,  of  the  power  of  self-interest  to 
extinguish  all  sense  of  justice  and  even  of  shame.  They  had 
hitherto  insisted,  contrary  to  all  right  and  all  precedent,  that  the 
government  of  the  country  should  exempt  all  their  goods  from 
duty :  they  now  insisted  that  it  should  impose  duties  upon  the 
goods  of  all  other  traders,  and  accused  it  as  guilty  of  a  breach  of 
the  peace  towards  the  Enghsh  nation,  because  it  proposed  to  remit 


weight  with  the  council  in  Calcutta  than  all  the 
wisdom  of  such  men  as  Vansittart  and  Warren 
Hastings,  because  they  happened  to  be  more  con- 
sonant with  the  personal  interests  of  the  majority,  pre- 
cipitately brought  on  the  war ;  and  assumed  the 
direction  of  all  military  operations,  of  which  he  knew 
nothing,  and  for  which  he  seems  to  have  been  totally 
unfitted  by  the  violence  of  his  temper.  All  his  en- 
terprises failed — the  city  and  factory  were  captured 
by  the  enemy ;  and  the  European  inhabitants  taken 
prisoners.  The  Nawab,  smarting  under  the  reiterated 
wrongs  he  had  received,  and  which  he  attributed 
mainly  to  the  councils  of  Mr.  Ellis,  no  sooner  found 
the  chief  within  his  grasp,  than  he  determined  to 
have  him  and  all  who  were  taken  with  him,  save  a 
Doctor  Fullerton,  to  whom  he  owed  some  personal 
obligations,  put  to  death.  His  own  native  officers 
were  shocked  at  the  proposal,  and  tried  to  dissuade 
him  from  the  purpose ;  but  he  was  resolved  ;  and  not 
finding  among  them  any  willing  to  carry  it  into  ex- 
ecution, he  applied  to  Sumroo,  who  readily  under- 
took, and  with  some  of  his  myrmidons,  performed  the 
horrible  duty  in  1763.  At  the  suggestion  of  Gregory 
and  Sombre,  Kasim  Alee  now  attempted  to  take 
the  small  principality  of  Nepaul,  as  a  kind  of  basis 
for  his  operations  against  the  English.  He  had  four 
hundred  excellent  rifles  with  flint  locks  and  screwed 
barrels  made  at  Monghere,  on  the  Ganges,  so  as  to 
fit  into  small  boxes.  These  boxes  were  sent  on 
upon  the  backs  of  four  hundred  brave  volunteers  for 


THE    FORLORN    HOPE.  381 

this  forlorn  hope.  Gregory  had  got  a  passport  for 
the  boxes,  as  rare  merchandise  for  the  palace  of 
the  Prince,  at  Katmandhoo,  in  whose  presence  alone 
they  were  to  be  opened.  On  reaching  the  palace  at 
night,  these  volunteers  were  to  open  their  boxes, 
screw  up  the  barrels,  destroy  all  the  inmates,  and 
possess  themselves  of  the  palace,  where  it  is  supposed 
Kasim  Alee  had  already  secured  many  friends. 
Twelve  thousand  soldiers  had  advanced  to  the  foot 
of  the  hills,  near  Betteea,  to  support  the  attack ;  and 
the  volunteers  were  in  the  fort  of  Muckwanpoor,  the 
only  strong  fort  between  the  plain  and  the  capital. 
They  had  been  treated  with  great  consideration  by 
the  garrison,  and  were  to  set  out  at  daylight  the  next 
morning ;  but  one  of  the  attendants,  who  had  been 
let  into  the  secret,  got  drunk,  and  in  a  quarrel  with 
one  of  the  garrison,  told  him  that  he  should  see  in  a 
few  days  who  would  be  master  of  that  garrison. 
This  led  to  suspicion ;  the  boxes  were  broken  open, 
the  arms  discovered,  and  the  whole  of  the  party, 
except  three  or  four,  were  instantly  put  to  death  ; 
the  three  or  four  who  escaped,  gave  intelligence 
to  the  army  at  Betteea,  and  the  whole  retreated 
upon  Monghere.  But  for  this  drunken  man,  Nepaul 
had  perhaps  been  Kasim  Alee's.* 

*  Our  troops,  under  Sir  David  Ochterlony,  took  the  fort  of 
Muckwanpoor  in  1815,  and  might  in  five  days  have  been  before 
the  defenceless  capital ;  but  they  were  here  arrested  by  the  roman- 
tic chivalry  of  the  Marquis  of  Hastings.  The  country  had  been 
virtually  conquered ;  the  prince,  by  his  base  treachery  towards 


Kasim  Alee  Khan  was  beaten  in  several  actions  by 
our  gallant  little  band  of  troops  under  their  able 
leader,  Colonel  Adams;  and  at  last  driven  to  seek 
shelter  with  the  Nawab,  Vizier  of  Oude,  into  whose 
service  Sumroo  afterwards  entered.  This  chief 
being  in  his  turn  beaten,  Sumroo  went  off,  and  en- 
tered the  service  of  the  celebrated  chief  of  Rohil- 
cund,  Hafiz  Rhemut  Khan.  This  he  soon  quitted 
from  fear  of  the  English.  He  raised  two  battalions 
in  1772,  which  he  soon  afterwards  increased  to  four ; 

us,  and  outrages  upon  others,  had  justly  forfeited  his  throne ; 
but  the  Governor-general,  by  perhaps  a  misplaced  lenity,  left  it 
to  him  without  any  other  guarantee  for  his  future  good  behaviour 
than  the  recollection  that  he  had  been  soundly  beaten.  Unfor- 
tunately he  left  him  at  the  same  time  a  sufficient  quantity  of 
fertile  land  below  the  hills,  to  maintain  the  same  army  with  which 
he  had  fought  us,  with  better  knowledge  how  to  employ  them,  to 
keep  us  out  on  a  future  occasion.  Between  the  attempt  of  Kasim 
Alee  and  our  attack  upon  Nepaul,  the  Gorkha  masters  of  the 
country  had,  by  a  long  series  of  successful  aggressions  upon 
their  neighbours,  rendered  themselves  in  their  own  opinion  and 
in  that  of  their  neighbours,  the  best  soldiers  of  India.  They 
have  of  course  a  very  natural  feeling  of  hatred  against  our  govern- 
ment, which  put  a  stop  to  the  wild  career  of  conquest,  and  wrested 
from  their  grasp  all  the  property,  and  all  the  pretty  women  from 
Katmandhoo  to  Cashmere.  To  those  beautiful  regions  they 
were  what  the  invading  Huns  were  in  former  days  to  Europe, 
absolute  friends.  Had  we  even  exacted  a  good  road  into  their 
country  with  fortifications  at  the  proper  places,  it  might  have 
checked  the  hopes  of  one  day  resuming  the  career  of  conquest 
that  now  keeps  up  the  army  and  military  spirit,  to  threaten  us 
with  a  renewal  of  war  whenever  we  are  embarrassed  on  the 


and  let  out  always  to  the  highest  bidder — first,  to 
the  Jat  chiefs  of  Deeg ;  then  to  the  chief  of  Jey- 
poor ;  then  to  the  Nujuf  Khan,  the  prime  minister ; 
and  then  to  the  Mahrattas.  His  battalions  were 
officered  by  Europeans,  but  Europeans  of  respecta- 
bility were  unwilling  to  take  service  under  a  man 
so  precariously  situated,  however  great  their  neces- 
sities; and  he  was  obliged  to  content  himself  for 
the  most  part  with  the  very  dross  of  society — men 
who  could  neither  read  nor  write,  nor  keep  them- 
selves sober.  The  consequence  was,  that  the  bat- 
talions were  often  in  a  state  of  mutiny,  committing 
every  kind  of  outrage  upon  the  persons  of  their 
officers ;  and  at  all  times  in  a  state  of  insubordination 
bordering  on  mutiny.  These  battalions  seldom  obtained 
their  pay  till  they  put  their  commandant  into  con- 
finement, and  made  him  dig  up  his  hidden  stores  if 
he  had  any,  or  borrow  from  bankers  if  he  had  none. 
If  the  troops  felt  pressed  for  time,  and  their  comman- 
der was  of  the  necessary  character,  they  put  him  astride 
upon  a  hot  gun  without  his  trowsers.  When  one 
battalion  had  got  its  pay  out  of  him  in  this  manner, 
he  was  often  handed  over  to  another  for  the  same 
purpose.  The  poor  old  Begum  had  been  often  sub- 
jected to  the  starving  stage  of  this  proceeding  before 
she  came  under  our  protection ;  but  had  never,  I 
believe,  been  grilled  upon  a  gun  !  It  was  a  rule,  it 
is  said,  with  Sombre,  to  enter  the  field  of  battle  in 
column  at  the  safest  point ;  form  line  facing  the 
enemy,  fire  a  few  rounds  in  the  direction  where  they 


stood,  without  regard  to  the  distance  or  effect  ;  form 
square,  and  await  the  course  of  events.  If  victory- 
declared  for  the  enemy,  he  sold  his  unbroken  force 
to  him  to  great  advantage ;  if  for  his  friends,  he 
assisted  them  in  collecting  the  plunder,  and  securing 
all  the  advantages  of  the  victory.  To  this  prudent 
plan  of  action,  his  corps  always  afterwards  steadily 
adhered ;  and  they  never  took  or  lost  a  gun  till  they 
came  in  contact  with  our  forces  at  Adjuntee  and 

Sombre  died  at  Agra,  on  the  4th  May,  1778,  and 
his  remains  were  at  first  buried  in  his  garden.  They 
were  afterwards  removed  to  consecrated  ground,  in 
the  Agra  churchyard  by  his  widow,  the  Begum,  who 
was  baptized,  at  the  age  of  forty,  by  a  Roman  Catholic 
priest,  under  the  name  of  Joanna,  on  the  7th  of  May, 
1781.  On  the  death  of  her  husband,  she  was  re- 
quested to  take  command  of  the  force  by  all  the 
Europeans  and  natives  that  composed  it,  as  the  only 
possible  mode  of  keeping  them  together,  since  the  son 
was  known  to  be  altogether  unfit.  She  consented, 
and  was  regularly  installed  in  the  charge  by  the 
Emperor  Shah  Alum.  Her  chief  ofiicer  was  a  Mr. 
Pauly,  a  German,  who  soon  after  took  an  active  part 
in  providing  the  poor  imbecile  old  Emperor  with 
a  prime  minister;  and  got  himself  assassinated  on 
the  restoration,  a  few  weeks  after,  of  his  rival.  The 
troops  continued  in  the  same  state  of  insubordination ; 
and  the  Begum  was  anxious  for  an  opportunity  to 
show  that  she  was  determined  to  be  obeyed. 

THE   BEGUM    SUMROO.  385 

While  she  was  encamped  with  the  army  of  the 
prime  minister'^of  the  time  at  Muttra,  news  was  one 
day  brought  to  her,  that  two  slave  girls  had  set  fire 
to  her  houses  at  Agra,  in  order  that  they  might  make 
off  with  their  paramours,  two  soldiers  of  the  guard 
she  had  left  in  charge.  These  houses  had  thatched 
roofs,  and  contained  all  her  valuables,  and  the 
widows,  wives,  and  children  of  her  principal  officers. 
The  fire  had  been  put  out  with  much  difficulty,  and 
great  loss  of  property ;  and  the  two  slave  girls  were 
soon  after  discovered  in  the  bazaar  at  Agra,  and 
brought  out  to  the  Begum's  camp.  She  had  the 
affair  investigated  in  the  usual  summary  form ;  and 
their  guilt  being  proved  to  the  satisfaction  of  all 
present,  she  had  them  flogged  till  they  were  sense- 
less, and  then  thrown  into  a  pit  dug  in  front  of  her 
tent  for  the  purpose,  and  buried  alive.  I  had  heard 
this  story  related  in  different  ways,  and  I  now  took 
pains  to  ascertain  the  truth  ;  and  this  short  narration 
may,  T  believe,  be  relied  upon.  An  old  Persian 
merchant,  called  the  Aga,  still  resided  at  Sirdhana, 
to  whom  I  knew  that  one  of  the  slave  girls  belonged. 
I  visited  him,  and  he  told  me,  that  his  father  had 
been  on  intimate  terms  with  Sombre,  and  when  he 
died  his  mother  went  to  live  with  his  widow,  the 
Begum — that  his  slave  girl  was  one  of  the  two— 
that  his  mother  at  first  protested  against  her  being 
taken  off  to  the  camp,  but  became,  on  inquiry, 
satisfied  of  her  guilt — and  that  the  Begum's  object  was, 
to   make  a  strong  impression   upon  the  turbulent 

VOL.    II.  c   c 


spirit  of  her  troops  by  a  severe  example.  "  In  this 
object,"  said  the  old  Aga,  "  she  entirely  succeeded ; 
and  for  some  years  after  her  orders  were  implicitly 
obeyed ;  had  she  faltered  on  that  occasion,  she  must 
have  lost  the  command — she  would  have  lost  that 
respect,  without  which  it  would  have  been  impossible 
for  her  to  retain  it  a  month.  I  was  then  a  boy ;  but 
I  remember  well,  that  there  were,  besides  my  mother 
and  sisters,  many  respectable  females  that  would  have 
rather  perished  in  the  flames  than  come  out  to  ex- 
pose themselves  to  the  crowd  that  assembled  to  see 
the  fires ;  and  had  the  fires  not  been  put  out,  a  great 
many  lives  must  have  been  lost — besides,  there  were 
many  old  people  and  young  children  who  could  not  have 
escaped."  The  old  Aga  was  going  off  to  take  up 
his  quarters  at  Delhi  when  this  conversation  took 
place ;  and  I  am  sure,  that  he  told  me  what  he 
thought  to  be  true.  This  narrative  corresponded 
exactly  with  that  of  several  other  old  men  from 
whom  I  had  heard  the  story.  It  should  be  recol- 
lected, that  among  natives,  there  is  no  particular  mode 
of  execution  prescribed  for  those  who  are  condemned 
to  die :  nor,  in  a  camp  like  this,  any  court  of  justice 
save  that  of  the  commander,  in  which  they  could  be 
tried,  and,  supposing  the  guilt  to  have  been  esta- 
blished, as  it  is  said  to  have  been  to  the  satisfaction 
of  the  Begum  and  the  principal  officers,  who  were  all 
Europeans  and  Christians,  perhaps  the  punishment 
was  not  much  greater  than  the  crime  deserved,  and 
the  occasion  demanded.     But  it  is  possible,  that  the 

THE   BEGUM    SUMROO.  387 

slave  girls  may  not  have  set  fire  to  the  buildings, 
but  merely  availed  themselves  of  the  occasion  of  the 
fire,  to  run  off;  indeed,  slave  girls  are  under  so  little 
restraint  in  ludfa,  that  it  would  be  hardly  worth 
while  for  them  to  burn  down  a  house  to  get  out.  I  am 
satisfied,  that  the  Begum  believed  them  guilty ;  and 
that  the  punishment,  horrible  as  it  was,  was  merited. 
It  certainly  had  the  desired  effect.  My  object  has 
been  to  ascertain  the  truth  in  this  case,  and  to  state 
it,  and  not  to  eulogise  or  defend  the  old  Begum. 

After  Pauly's  death,  the  command  of  the  troops 
under  the  Begum,  devolved  successively  upon  Badurs, 
Evans,  Dudrenee,  who,  after  a  short  time,  all  gave  it 
up  in  disgust  at  the  beastly  habits  of  the  European 
subalterns ;  and  the  overbearing  insolence  to  which 
they  and  the  want  of  regular  pay  gave  rise  among 
the  soldiers.  At  last  the  command  devolved  upon 
Monsieur  Le  Vassoult,  a  French  gentleman  of  birth, 
education,  gentlemanly  deportment,  and  honourable 
feelings.  The  battalions  had  been  increased  to  six, 
with  their  due  proportion  of  guns  and  cavalry ;  part 
resided  at  Sirdhana,  her  capital,  and  part  at  Delhi, 
in  attendance  upon  the  Emperor.  A  very  extra- 
ordinary man  entered  her  service  about  the  same 
time  with  Le  Vassoult,  George  Thomas,  who,  from 
a  quarter-master  on  board  a  ship,  raised  himself  to 
a  principality  in  northern  India.  Thomas  on  one 
occasion  raised  his  mistress  in  the  esteem  of  the 
Emperor  and  the  people  by  breaking  through  the 
old  rule  of  central  squares ;  gallantly  leading  on  his 

c  c  2 


troops,  and  rescuing  his  majesty  from  a  perilous  situ- 
ation in  one  of  his  battles  with  a  rebellious  subject, 
Nujuf  Coolee  Khan,  where  the  Begum  was  present  in 
her  palankeen,  and  reaped  all  the  laurels,  being  from 
that  day  called  "  the  most  beloved  daughter  of  the 
Emperor."  As  his  best  chance  of  securing  his  as- 
cendency against  such  a  rival,  Le  Vassoult  proposed 
marriage  to  the  Begum,  and  was  accepted.  She 
was  married  to  Le  Vassoult  by  father  Gregorio,  a 
Carmelite  monk,  in  1793,  before  Suleur  and  Ber- 
nier,  two  French  officers  of  great  merit.  George 
Thomas  left  her  service  in  consequence,  in  1793, 
and  set  up  for  himself;  and  was  afterwards  crushed 
by  the  united  armies  of  the  Seikhs  and  Mahrattas, 
commanded  by  European  officers,  after  he  had  been 
recognised  as  a  general  officer  by  the  Governor- 
general  of  India.  George  Thomas  had  latterly 
twelve  small  disciplined  battalions  officered  by  Euro- 
peans. He  had  good  artillery,  cast  his  own  guns,  and 
was  the  first  person  that  applied  iron  calibres  to  brass 
cannon.  He  was  unquestionably  a  man  of  very  ex- 
traordinary military  genius,  and  his  ferocity  and 
recklessness  as  to  the  means  he  used,  were  quite  in 
keeping  with  the  times.  His  revenues  were  derived 
from  the  Seikh  states,  which  he  had  rendered  tribu- 
tary ;  and  he  would  probably  soon  have  been  sove- 
reign of  them  all  in  the  room  of  Runjeet  Sing,  had 
not  the  jealousy  of  Peron  and  other  French  officers 
in  the  Mahratta  army  interposed. 

The  Begum  tried  in  vain  to  persuade  her  husband 

FLIGHT    OF   THE    BEGUM.  389 

to  receive  all  the  European  officers  of  the  corps  at 
his  table  as  gentlemen,  urging  that  not  only  their 
domestic  peace,  but  their  safety  among  such  a  tur- 
bulent set,  required  that  the  character  of  these 
officers  should  be  raised  if  possible,  and  their  feelings 
conciliated.  Nothing,  he  declared,  should  ever  in- 
duce him  to  sit  at  table  with  men  of  such  habits ; 
and  they  at  last  determined,  that  no  man  should 
command  them  who  would  not  condescend  to  do  so. 
Their  insolence,  and  that  of  the  soldiers  generally, 
became  at  last  unbearable ;  and  the  Begum  deter- 
mined to  go  off  with  her  husband,  and  seek  an 
asylum  in  the  honourable  Company's  territory  with 
the  little  property  she  could  command,  of  one  hun- 
dred thousand  rupees  in  money,  and  her  jewels, 
amounting  perhaps  in  value  to  one  hundred  thou- 
sand more.  Le  Vassoult  did  not  understand  En- 
glish ;  but  with  the  aid  of  a  grammar  and  a  dictionary 
he  was  able  to  communicate  her  wishes  to  Colonel 
M*Gowan,  who  commanded  at  that  time,  1795,  an 
advanced  post  of  our  army  at  Anoopshehur,  on  the 
Ganges.  He  proposed  that  the  colonel  should  re- 
ceive them  in  his  cantonments,  and  assist  them  in 
their  journey  thence  to  Furuckabad,  where  they 
wished  in  future  to  reside,  free  from  the  cares  and 
anxieties  of  such  a  charge.  The  colonel  had  some 
scruples,  under  the  impression,  that  he  might  be 
censured  for  aiding  in  the  flight  of  a  public  officer  of 
the  Emperor.  He  now  addressed  the  Governor- 
general   of  India,  Sir   John  Shore  himself,    April, 


1795,  who  requested  Major  Palmer,  our  accredited 
agent  with  Scindeea,  who  was  then  encamped  near 
Delhi,  and  holding  the  seals  of  prime  minister  of  the 
empire,  to  interpose  his  good  offices  in  favour  of  the 
Begum  and  her  husband.  Scindeea  demanded 
twelve  lacks  of  rupees  as  the  price  of  the  privilege 
she  solicited  to  retire ;  and  the  Begum,  in  her  turn, 
demanded  over  and  above  the  privilege  of  resigning 
the  command  into  his  hands,  the  sum  of  four  lacks 
of  rupees  as  the  price  of  the  arms  and  accoutrements 
which  had  been  provided  at  her  own  cost  and  that  of 
her  late  husband.  It  was  at  last  settled,  that  she 
should  resign  the  command,  and  set  out  secretly  with 
her  husband ;  and  that  Scindeea  should  confer  the 
command  of  her  troops  upon  one  of  his  own  officers, 
who  would  pay  the  son  of  Sombre  two  thousand 
rupees  a  month  for  life.  Le  Vassoult  was  to  be  re- 
ceived into  our  territories,  treated  as  a  prisoner  of 
war  upon  his  parole,  and  permitted  to  reside  with  his 
wife  at  the  French  settlement  of  Chandernagore. 
His  last  letter  to  Sir  John  Shore  is  dated  the  30th 
April,  1795.  His  last  letters  describing  this  final 
arrangement  are  addressed  to  Mr.  Even,  a  French 
merchant  at  Mirzapore,  and  a  Mr.  Bernier,  both 
personal  friends  of  his,  and  are  dated  18th  of  May, 

The  battalions  on  duty  at  Delhi  got  intimation 
of  this  correspondence,  made  the  son  of  Sombre 
declare  himself  their  legitimate  chief,  and  march  at 
their  head  to   seize  the  Begum  and  her  husband. 

FLIGHT    OF   THE    BEGUM.  391 

Le  Vassoult  heard  of  their  approach,  and  urged  the 
Begum  to  set  out  with  him  at  midnight  for  Anoop- 
shehur,  declaring,  that  he  would  rather  destroy  him- 
self than  submit  to  the  personal  indignities  which  he 
knew  would  be  heaped  upon  him  by  the  infuriated 
ruffians  who  were  coming  to  seize  them.  The 
Begum  consented,  declaring,  that  she  would  put  an 
end  to  her  life  with  her  own  hand  should  she  be 
taken.  She  got  into  her  palankeen  with  a  dagger 
in  her  hand,  and  as  he  had  seen  her  determined  reso- 
lution and  proud  spirit  before  exerted  on  many  try- 
ing occasions,  he  doubted  not  that  she  would  do 
what  she  declared  she  would.  He  mounted  his  horse 
and  rode  by  the  side  of  her  palankeen,  with  a  pair  of 
pistols  in  his  holsters,  and  a  good  sword  by  his  side. 
They  had  got  on  so  far  as  Kabree,  about  three  miles 
from  Sirdhana,  on  the  road  to  Meerut,  when  they 
found  the  battalions  from  Sirdhana,  who  had  got 
intimation  of  the  flight,  gaining  fast  upon  the  palan- 
keen. Le  Vassoult  asked  the  Begum,  whether  she 
remained  firm  in  her  resolve  to  die  rather  than  sub- 
mit to  the  indignities  that  threatened  them.  "  Yes," 
replied  she,  showing  him  the  dagger  firmly  grasped 
in  her  right  hand.  He  drew  a  pistol  from  his  holster 
without  saying  anything,  but  urged  on  the  bearers. 
He  could  have  easily  galloped  off  and  saved  him- 
self, but  he  would  not  quit  his  wife's  side.  At  last, 
the  soldiers  came  up  close  behind  them.  The  female 
attendants  of  the  Begum  began  to  scream ;  and 
looking  in,  Le  Vassoult  saw  the  white  cloth  that 


covered  the  Begum's  breast  stained  with  blood. 
She  had  stabbed  herself,  but  the  dagger  had  struck 
against  one  of  the  bones  of  her  chest,  and  she  had 
not  courage  to  repeat  the  blow.  Her  husband  put 
his  pistol  to  his  temple,  and  fired.  The  ball  passed 
through  his  head,  and  he  fell  dead  on  the  ground. 
One  of  the  soldiers  who  saw  him,  told  me,  that  he 
sprung  at  least  a  foot  off  the  saddle  into  the  air  as 
the  shot  struck  him !  His  body  was  treated  with 
every  kind  of  insult  by  the  European  officers  and 
their  men ;  and  the  Begum  was  taken  back  into 
Sirdhana,  kept  under  a  gun  for  seven  days,  deprived 
of  all  kinds  of  food,  save  what  she  got  by  stealth 
from  her  female  servants,  and  subjected  to  all  man- 
ner of  insolent  language. 

At  last  the  officers  were  advised  by  George 
Thomas,  who  had  instigated  them  to  this  violence 
out  of  pique  against  the  Begum,  for  her  preference 
of  the  Frenchman,  to  set  aside  their  puppet,  and  re- 
seat the  Begum  in  the  command,  as  the  only  chance 
of  keeping  the  territory  of  Sirdhana.  "  If,"  said  he, 
the  Begum  should  die  under  the  torture  of  mind  and 
body  to  which  you  are  subjecting  her,  the  minister 
will  very  soon  resume  the  lands  assigned  for  your 
payment ;  and  disband  a  force  so  disorderly,  and  so 
little  likely  to  be  of  any  use  to  him  or  the  Emperor." 
A  counsel  of  war  was  held — the  Begum  was  taken 
out  from  under  the  gun,  and  reseated  upon  her 
musnud.  A  paper  was  drawn  up  by  about  thirty 
European  officers,    of    whom    only  one.    Monsieur 


Saleur,  could  sign  his  own  name,  swearing,  in  the 
name  of  God  and  Jesus  Christ,*  that  they  would 
henceforward  obey  her  with  all  their  hearts  and 
souls,  and  recognise  no  other  person  whomsoever  as 
commander.  They  all  affixed  their  seals  to  this 
covenant ;  but  some  of  them,  to  show  their  superior 
learning,  put  their  initials,  or  what  they  used  as  such, 
for  some  of  these  learned  Thebans  knew  only  two  or 
three  letters  of  the  alphabet,  which  they  put  down, 
though  they  happened  not  to  be  their  real  initials. 
An  officer  on  the  part  of  Scindeea,  who  was  to  have 
commanded  these  troops,  was  present  at  this  rein- 
stallation of  the  Begum,  and  glad  to  take,  as  a  com- 
pensation for  his  disappointment,  the  sum  of  one 
hundred  and  fifty  thousand  rupees,  which  the  Begum 
contrived  to  borrow  for  him. 

The  body  of  poor  Le  Vassoult  was  brought  back 
to  camp,  and  there  lay  several  days  unburied,  and 
exposed  to  all  kinds  of  indignities.  The  supposition 
that  this  was  the  result  of  a  plan  formed  by  the 
Begum  to  get  rid  of  Le  Vassoult  is,  I  believe,  un- 
founded. The  Begum  herself  gave  some  colour  of 
truth  to  the  report,  by  retaining  the  name  of  her 

*  The  paper  was  written  by  a  Mahomedan,  and  he  would  not 
write  Christ  the  Son  of  God — it  is  written — "  In  the  name  of 
Godj  and  his  Majesty  Christ."  The  Mahomedans  look  upon 
Christ  as  the  greatest  of  prophets  before  Mahomed ;  but  the  most 
binding  article  of  their  faith  is  this  from  the  Koran,  which  they 
repeat  every  day  :  "  I  believe  in  God  who  was  never  begot,  nor 
has  ever  begotten,  nor  will  ever  have  an  equal,"  alluding  to  the 
Christians'  belief  in  the  Trinity. 


first  husband,  Sombre,  to  the  last,  and  never  publicly 
or  formally  declaring  her  marriage  with  Le  Vassoult 
after  his  death.  The  troops  in  this  mutiny  pre- 
tended nothing  more  than  a  desire  to  vindicate  the 
honour  of  their  old  commander  Sombre,  which  had, 
they  said,  been  compromised  by  the  illicit  intercourse 
between  Le  Vassoult  and  his  widow.  She  had  not 
dared  to  declare  the  marriage  to  them  lest  they 
should  mutiny  on  that  ground,  and  deprive  her  of 
the  command ;  and  for  the  same  reason  she  retained 
the  name  of  Sombre  after  her  restoration,  and  re- 
mained silent  on  the  subject  of  her  second  marriage. 
The  marriage  was  known  only  to  a  few  European 
officers.  Sir  John  Shore,  Major  Palmer,  and  the  other 
gentlemen  with  whom  Le  Vassoult  corresponded. 
Some  grave  old  native  gentlemen,  who  were  long  in 
her  service,  have  told  me  that  they  believed  "  there 
really  was  too  much  of  truth  in  the  story  which 
excited  the  troops  to  mutiny  6n  that  occasion,  her 
too  great  intimacy  with  the  gallant  young  French- 
man. God  forgive  them  for  saying  so  of  a  lady 
whose  salt  they  had  eaten  for  so  many  years."  Le 
Vassoult  made  no  mention  of  the  marriage  to  Colonel 
M*Gowan ;  and  from  the  manner  in  which  he  men- 
tions it  to  Sir  John  Shore,  it  is  clear  that  he  or  she, 
or  both,  were  anxious  to  conceal  it  from  the  troops 
and  from  Scindeea  before  their  departure.  She 
stipulated  in  her  will,  that  her  heir,  Mr.  Dyce,  should 
take  the  name  of  Sombre,  as  if  she  wished  to 
have  the  little  episode  of  her  second  marriage  for- 


After  the  death  of  Le  Vassoult,  the  command  de- 
volved on  Monsieur  Saleur,  a  Frenchman,  the  only 
respectable  officer  who  signed  the  covenant :  he  had 
taken  no  active  part  in  the  mutiny ;  on  the  contrary, 
he  had  done  all  he  could  to  prevent  it ;  and  he  was 
at  last,  with  George  Thomas,  the  chief  means  of 
bringing  his  brother  officers  back  to  a  sense  of  their 
duty.  Another  battalion  was  added  to  the  four  in 
1797,  and  another  raised  in  1798  and  in  1802  ;  five 
of  the  six  marched  under  Colonel  Saleur  to  the 
Deccan  with  Scindeea.  They  were  in  a  state  of 
mutiny  the  whole  way,  and  utterly  useless  as  auxili- 
aries, as  Saleur  himself  declared  in  many  of  his  letters 
written  in  French,  to  his  mistress  the  Begum.  At 
the  battle  of  Assye,  four  of  these  battalions  were 
left  in  charge  of  the  Mahratta  camps.  One  was  pre- 
sent in  the  action,  and  lost  its  four  guns.  Soon  after 
the  return  of  these  battalions,  the  Begum  entered 
into  an  alliance  with  the  British  government ;  the 
force  then  consisted  of  these  six  battalions,  a  party 
of  artillery  served  chiefly ,  by  Europeans,  and  two 
hundred  horse.  She  had  a  good  arsenal  well  stored, 
and  a  foundry  for  cannon,  both  within  the  walls  of 
a  small  fortress,  built  near  her  dwelling  at  Sirdhana. 
The  whole  cost  her  about  four  lacks  of  rupees  a  year ; 
her  civil  establishments  eighty  thousand,  her  pen- 
sioners sixty,  and  her  household  establishments  and 
expenses  about  the  same ;  total,  six  lacks  of  rupees 
a  year.  The  revenues  of  Sirdhana,  and  the  other 
lands  assigned  at  different  times  for  the  payment  of 



this  force,  had  been  at  no  time  more  than  suffi- 
cient to  cover  these  expenses ;  but  under  the  pro- 
tection of  our  government  they  improved  with  the 
extension  of  tillage,  and  the  improvements  of  the 
surrounding  markets  for  produce,  and  she  was  ena^ 
bled  to  give  largely  to  the  support  of  religious  and 
charitable  institutions,  and  to  provide  handsomely 
for  the  support  of  her  family  and  pensioners  after 
her  death. 

Sombre's  son,  Zuffer  Yabkhan,  had  a  daughter 
who  was  married  to  Colonel  Dyce,  who  had  for  some 
time  the  management  of  the  Begum's  affairs  ;  but  he 
lost  her  favour  long  before  her  death,  by  his  violent 
temper  and  overbearing  manners,  and  was  obliged  to 
resign  the  management  to  his  son,  who,  on  the  Be- 
gum's death,  came  in  for  the  bulk  of  her  fortune,  or 
about  sixty  lacks  of  rupees.  He  has  two  sisters  who 
were  brought  up  by  the  Begum,  one  married  to 
Captain  Troup,  an  Englishman,  and  the  other  to 
Mr.  Sobroli,  an  Italian,  both  very  worthy  men.  Their 
wives  have  been  handsomely  provided  for  by  the 
Begum  and  by  their  brother  who  trebled  the  fortunes 
left  to  them  by  the  Begum.  She  built  an  excellent 
church  at  Sirdhana,  and  assigned  the  sum  of  one 
hundred  thousand  rupees  as  a  fund  to  provide  for  its 
service  and  repairs ;  fifty  thousand  rupees  as  another 
for  the  poor  of  the  place  ;  and  one  hundred  thousand 
as  a  third,  for  a  college  in  which  Roman  Catholic 
priests  might  be  educated  for  the  benefit  of  India 
generally.     She  sent  to  Rome  one  hundred  and  fifty 


thousand  rupees,  to  be  employed  as  a  charity  fund, 
at  the  discretion  of  the  Pope ;  and  to  the  Archbishop 
of  Canterbury  she  sent  fifty  thousand  for  the  same 
purpose.  She  gave  to  the  Bishop  of  Calcutta  one 
hundred  thousand  rupees  to  provide  teachers  for  the 
poor  of  the  Protestant  church  in  Calcutta.  She  sent 
to  Calcutta  for  distribution  to  the  poor,  and  for  the 
liberation  of  deserving  debtors,  fifty  thousand.  To 
the  Catholic  missions  at  Calcutta,  Bombay,  and 
Madras,  she  gave  one  hundred  thousand ;  and  to  that 
of  Agra  thirty  thousand.  She  built  a  handsome 
chapel  for  the  Roman  Catholics  at  Meerut;  and 
presented  the  fund  for  its  support,  with  a  donation 
of  twelve  thousand :  and  she  built  a  chapel  for  the 
church  missionary  at  Meerut,  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Richards,  at  a  cost  of  ten  thousand,  to  meet  the 
wants  of  the  native  Protestants. 

Among  all  who  had  opportunities  of  knowing  her, 
she  bore  the  character  of  a  kind-hearted,  benevolent, 
and  good  woman ;  and  I  have  conversed  with  men 
capable  of  judging,  who  had  known  her  for  more  than 
fifty  years.  She  had  uncommon  sagacity,  and  a  mas- 
culine resolution ;  and  the  Europeans  and  natives 
who  were  most  intimate  with  her,  have  told  me,  that 
though  a  woman  and  of  small  stature,  her  Rooab 
(dignity,  or  power  of  commanding  personal  respect) 
was  greater  than  that  of  almost  any  person  they  had 
ever  seen.  From  the  time  she  put  herself  under  the 
protection  of  the  British  government,  in  1803,  she 
by  degrees  adopted  the  European  modes  of  social  in- 


tercourse,  appearing  in  public  on  an  elephant,  in  a 
carriage,  and  occasionally  on  horseback  with  her  hat 
and  veil ;  and  dining  at  table  with  gentlemen.  She  , 
often  entertained  governors  -  general  and  com- 
manders-in-chief, with  all  their  retinues,  and  sat 
with  them  and  their  staff  at  table,  and  for  some  years 
past  kept  an  open  house  for  the  society  of  Meerut ; 
but  in  no  situation  did  she  lose  sight  of  her  dignity. 
She  retained  to  the  last  the  grateful  affections  of  the 
thousands  who  were  supported  by  her  bounty,  while 
she  never  ceased  to  inspire  the  most  profound  respect 
in  the  minds  of  those  who  every  day  approached 
her,  and  were  on  the  most  unreserved  terms  of  in- 

Lord  William  Bentinck  was  an  excellent  judge  of 
character;  and  the  following  letter  will  show  how 
deeply  his  visit  to  that  part  of  the  country  had  im- 
pressed him  with  a  sense  of  her  extensive  useful- 


My  esteemed  Friend, — I  cannot  leave  India  with- 
out expressing  the  sincere  esteem  I  entertain  for 
your  highness's  character.  The  benevolence  of  dis- 
position and  extensive  charity  which  have  endeared 
you  to  thousands,  have  excited  in  my  mind  senti- 
ments of  the  warmest  admiration;  and  I  trust  that 
you  may  yet  be  preserved  for  many  years,  the  solace 
of  the  orphan  and  widow,  and  the  sure  resource  of 

CHARACTER  OF  THE  BEGUM.        399 

your  numerous  dependants.  To-morrow  morning  I 
embark  for  England ;  and  my  prayers  and  best  wishes 
attend  you,  and  all  others  who,  like  you,  exert  them- 
selves for  the  benefit  of  the  people  of  India. 

I  remain, 
With  much  consideration, 

Your  sincere  Friend, 
(Signed)  M.  W.  Bentinck. 

Calcutta,  March  17th,  1835. 






The  following  observations,  on  a  very  important 
and  interesting  subject,  were  not  intended  to  form  a 
portion  of  the  present  work.  They  serve  to  illus- 
trate, however,  many  passages  in  the  foregoing 
chapters,  touching  the  character  of  the  natives  of 
India ;  and  the  Affghan  war  having  occurred  since 
they  were  written,  I  cannot  deny  myself  the  gratifi- 
cation of  presenting  them  to  the  public,  since  the 
courage  and  fidelity,  which  it  was  my  object  to  show 
the  British  government  had  a  right  to  expect  from 
its  native  troops,  and  might  always  rely  upon  in  the 
hour  of  need,  have  been  so  nobly  displayed. 

I  had  one  morning  (November  14th,  1838)  a  visit 


from  the  senior  native  officer  of  my  regiment,  Seikli 
Mahoobalee,  a  very  fine  old  gentleman,  who  had  re- 
cently attained  the  rank  of  "  Sirdar  Bahadoor,'^  and 
been  invested  with  the  new  "  Order  of  British  India." 
He  entered  the  service  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  and  had 
served  fifty-three  years  with  great  credit  to  himself, 
and  fought  in  many  an  honourable  field.  He  had 
come  over  to  Jubbulpore  as  president  of  a  native 
general  court-martial ;  and  paid  me  several  visits,  in 
company  with  another  old  officer  of  my  regiment, 
who  was  a  member  of  the  same  court.  The  follow- 
ing is  one  of  the  many  conversations  I  had  with  him, 
taken  down  as  soon  as  he  left  me. 

"  What  do  you  think.  Sirdar  Bahadoor,  of  the 
order  prohibiting  corporal  punishment  in  the  army  ; 
has  it  had  a  bad  or  good  effect  ?" 

"  It  has  had  a  very  good  effect." 

"  What  good  has  it  produced  ?" 

"  It  has  reduced  the  number  of  courts-martial  to 
one  quarter  of  what  they  were  before,  and  thereby 
lightened  the  duties  of  the  officers ;  it  has  made  the 
good  men  more  careful,  and  the  bad  men  more 
orderly,  than  they  used  to  be." 

"  How  has  it  produced  this  effect  ?" 

"  A  bad  man  formerly  went  on  recklessly  from 
small  offences  to  great  ones,  in  the  hope  of  impunity ; 
he  knew  that  no  regimental,  cantonment,  or  brigade 
court-martial  could  sentence  him  to  be  dismissed  the 
service ;  and  that  they  would  not  sentence  him  to  be 
flogged,  except  for  great  crimes,  because  it  involved, 

VOL.    II.  D   D 


at  the  same  time,  dismissal  from  the  service.  If  they 
sentenced  him  to  be  flogged,  he  still  hoped  that  the 
punishment  would  be  remitted.  The  general  or 
officer  confirming  the  sentence,  was  generally  un- 
willing to  order  it  to  be  carried  into  effect,  because 
the  man  must,  after  being  flogged,  be  turned  out  of 
our  service,  and  the  marks  of  the  lash  upon  his  back 
would  prevent  his  getting  service  anywhere  else. 
Now  he  knows  that  these  courts  can  sentence  him 
to  be  dismissed  from  the  service — that  he  is  liable 
to  lose  his  bread  for  ordinary  transgressions ;  and  be 
sentenced  to  work  on  the  roads  in  irons  for  graver 
ones.  He  is,  in  consequence,  much  more  under  re- 
straint than  he  used  to  be." 

"  And  how  has  it  tended  to  make  the  well-disposed 
more  careful?" 

"  They  were  formerly  liable  to  be  led  into  errors 
by  the  example  of  the  bad  men,  under  the  same 
hope  of  impunity ;  but  they  are  now  more  on  their 
guard.  They  have  all  relations  among  the  native 
officers,  who  are  continually  impressing  upon  them 
the  necessity  of  being  on  their  guard,  lest  they  be 
sent  back  upon  their  families — their  mothers  and 
fathers,  wives  and  children — as  beggars.  To  be  dis- 
missed from  a  service  like  that  of  the  Company  is  a 
very  great  punishment ;  it  subjects  a  man  to  the 
odium  and  indignation  of  all  his  family.  When  in 
the  Company's  service  his  friends  know  that  a  soldier 
gets  his  pay  regularly,  and  can  afford  to  send  home  a 
very  large  portion  of  it.     They  expect  that  he  will 

INCREASE    OF    PAY.  403 

do  SO ;  he  feels  that  they  will  listen  to  no  excuse  ' 
and  he  contracts  habits  of  sobriety  and  prudence. 
If  a  man  gets  into  the  service  of  a  native  chief,  his 
friends  know  that  his  pay  is  precarious ;  and  they 
continue  to  maintain  his  family  for  many  years  with- 
out receiving  a  remittance  from  him,  in  the  hope 
that  his  circumstances  may  some  day  improve.  He 
contracts  bad  hahits,  and  is  not  ashamed  to  make  his 
appearance  among  them,  knowing  that  his  excuses 
will  be  received  as  valid.  If  one  of  the  Company's 
sipahees  were  not  to  send  home  remittances  for  six 
months,  some  members  of  the  family  would  be  sent 
to  know  the  reason  why.  If  he  could  not  explain, 
they  would  appeal  to  the  native  officers  of  the  regi- 
ment, wlio  would  expostulate  with  him ;  and  if  all 
failed,  his  wife  and  children  would  be  turned  out  of 
his  father  s  house,  unless  they  knew  that  he  was  gone 
to  the  wars  ;  and  he  would  be  ashamed  ever  to  show 
his  face  among  them  again." 

"  And  the  gradual  increase  of  pay,  with  length  of 
service,  has  tended  to  increase  the  value  of  the  ser- 
vice, has  it  not?" 

"  It  has,  very  much  :  there  are  in  our  regiment, 
out  of  eight  hundred  men,  more  than  one  hundred 
and  fifty  sipahees  who  get  the  increase  of  two  rupees 
a  month,  and  the  same  number  that  get  the  increase 
of  one.  This  they  feel  as  an  immense  addition  to 
the  former  seven  rupees  a  month.  A  prudent  sipahee 
lives  upon  two,  or  at  the  utmost  three  rupees  a  month, 
in  seasons  of  moderate  plenty ;  and  sends  all  the  rest 

D  D  2 


to  his  family.  A  great  number  of  the  sipahees  of 
our  regiment  live  upon  the  increase  of  two  rupees, 
and  send  all  their  former  seven  to  their  families. 
The  dismissal  of  a  man  from  such  a  service  as  this, 
distresses  not  only  him,  but  all  his  relations  in  the 
higher  grades,  who  know  how  much  of  the  comfort 
and  happiness  of  his  family  depend  upon  his  remain- 
ing and  advancing  in  it ;  and  they  all  try  to  make 
tlieir  young  friends  behave  as  they  ought  do  do." 

"  Do  you  think  that  a  great  portion  of  the  native 
officers  of  the  army  have  the  same  feelings  and  opi- 
nions on  the  subject  as  you  have  ?" 

"  They  have  all  the  same ;  there  is  not,  I  believe, 
one  in  a  hundred  that  does  not  think  as  I  do  upon 
the  subject.  Flogging  was  an  odious  thing.  A  man 
was  disgraced,  not  only  before  his  regiment,  but  be- 
fore the  crowd  that  assembled  to  witness  the  punish- 
ment. Had  he  been  suffered  to  remain  in  the  regi- 
ment, he  could  never  have  hoped  to  rise  after  having 
been  flogged,  or  sentenced  to  be  flogged ;  his  hopes 
were  all  destroyed,  and  his  spirit  broken ;  and  the 
order  directing  him  to  be  dismissed  was  good  ;  but 
as  I  have  said,  he  lost  all  hope  of  getting  into  any 
other  service,  and  dared  not  show  his  face  among  his 
family  at  home." 

"  You  know  who  ordered  the  abolition  of  flog- 
ging ?" 

"  Lord  Bentinck."  ^ 

*  General  orders  by  the  Commander-in-Chief,  of  the  5th  of 
January,  1797,   declare  that  no  sipahee  or  trooper  of  our  native 


"  And  you  know  that  it  was  at  his  recommenda- 
tion the  honourable  Company  gave  the  increase  of 
pay,  with  length  of  service  ?" 

army  shall  be  dismissed  from  the  service  by  the  sentence  of  any 
but  a  general  court-martial.  General  orders  by  the  Commander- 
in-chief,  Lord  Combermere,  of  the  19th  of  March,  1827,  declare 
that  his  excellency  is  of  opinion  that  the  quiet  and  orderly  habits 
of  the  native  soldiers  are  such,  that  it  can  very  seldom  be  neces- 
sary to  have  recourse  to  the  punishment  of  flogging,  which  might 
be  almost  entirely  abolished,  with  great  advantage  to  their  cha- 
racter and  feelings  ;  and  directs  that  no  native  soldier  shall  in 
future  be  sentenced  to  corporal  punishment  unless  for  the  crime 
of  stealing,  marauding,  or  gross  insurbordination,  where  the  in- 
dividuals are  deemed  unworthy  to  continue  in  the  ranks  of  the 
army.  No  such  sentence  by  a  regimental,  detachment,  or 
brigade  court-martial  was  to  be  carried  into  effect  till  confirmed 
by  the  general  officer  commanding  the  division.  When  flogged 
the  soldier  was  invariably  to  be  discharged  from  the  service. 

A  circular  letter  from  the  Commander-in-chief,  Lord  Comber- 
mere,  of  the  16th  of  June,  1827,  directs,  that  sentence  to  corporal 
punishment  is  not  to  be  restricted  to  the  three  crimes  of  theft, 
marauding,  and  gross  insubordination  ;  but  that  it  is  not  to  be 
awarded,  except  for  very  serious  offence  against  discipline,  or  actions 
of  a  disgraceful  or  infamous  nature,  which  show  those  who  com- 
mitted them  to  be  unfit  for  the  service  ;  that  the  officer  who  as- 
sembles the  court  may  remit  the  sentence  of  corporal  punishment, 
and  the  dismissal  involved  in  it ;  but  cannot  carry  it  into  effect 
till  confirmed  by  the  officer  commanding  the  division,  except 
when  an  immediate  example  is  indispensably  necessary,  as  in  the 
case  of  plundering  and  violence  on  the  part  of  soldiers  in  the  line 
of  march.  In  all  cases  the  soldier  who  has  been  flogged  must  be 

A  circular  letter  by  the  Commander-in-chief,  Sir  E.  Barnes, 


"  We  have  heard  so ;  and  we  feel  towards  him  as 
we  felt  towards  Lord  Wellesley,  Lord  Hastings,  and 
Lord  Lake." 

"  Do  you  think  the  army  would  serve  again  now 

2nd  of  November,  1832,  dispenses  with  the  duty  of  submitting 
the  sentence  of  regimental,  detachment,  and  brigade  courts-mar- 
tial for  confirmation  to  the  general  officer  commanding  the  divi- 
sion ;  and  authorises  the  officer  who  assembles  the  court,  to  carry 
the  sentence  into  effect  without  reference  to  higher  authority ; 
and  to  mitigate  the  punishment  awarded,  or  remit  it  altogether  ; 
and  to  order  the  dismissal  of  the  soldier  who  has  been  sentenced 
to  corporal  punishment,  though  he  should  remit  the  flogging, 
"  for  it  may  happen,  that  a  soldier  may  be  found  guilty  of  an 
offence  which  renders  it  improper  that  he  should  remain  any 
longer  in  the  service,  although  the  general  conduct  of  the  men 
has  been  such,  that  an  example  is  unnecessary ;  or  he  may  have 
relations  in  the  regiment  of  excellent  character,  upon  whom  some 
part  of  the  disgrace  would  fall  if  he  were  flogged."  Still  no  court- 
martial  but  a  general  one  could  sentence  a  soldier  to  be  simply 
dismissed  !  To  secure  his  dismissal,  they  must  first  sentence  him 
to  be  flogged ! 

On  the  24th  of  February,  1835,  the  Governor- General  of  India 
in  council.  Lord  William  Bentinck,  directed  "  that  the  practice 
of  punishing  soldiers  of  the  native  army  by  the  cat-o' -nine-tails, 
or  rattan,  be  discontinued  at  all  the  presidencies  ;  and  that  hence- 
forth it  shall  be  competent  to  any  regimental,  detachment,  or 
brigade  court-martial,  to  sentence  a  soldier  of  the  native  army 
to  dismissal  from  the  service  for  any  offence  for  which  such  soldier 
might  now  be  punished  by  flogging,  provided  such  sentence  of 
dismissal  shall  not  be  carried  into  effect  unless  confirmed  by  the 
general  or  other  officer  commanding  the  division.'* 

For  crimes  involving  higher  penalties,  soldiers  were,  as  hereto- 
fore, committed  for  trial  before  general  courts-martial. 


with  the  same  spirit  as  they  served  under  Lor 
Lake  ?" 

"  The  army  would  go  to  any  part  of  the  world  to 
serve  such  masters — no  army  had  ever  masters  that 
cared  for  them  like  ours.  We  never  asked  to  have 
flogging  abolished  ;  nor  did  we  ever  ask  to  have  an 
increase  of  pay  with  length  of  service;  and  yet 
both  have  been  done  for  us  by  the  Company  Baha- 

The  old  Sirdar  Bahadoor  came  again  to  visit  me 
on  the  1st  of  December,  with  all  the  native  officers 
who  had  come  over  from  Saugor  to  attend  the  court, 
seven  in  number.  There  were  three  very  smart, 
sensible  men  among  them  ;  one  of  whom  had  been  as 
a  volunteer  at  the  capture  of  Java,  and  the  other  at 
that  of  the  Isle  of  France.  They  all  told  me  that 
they  considered  the  abolition  of  corporal  punishment 
a  great  blessing  to  the  native  army.  "  Some  bad 
men  who  had  already  lost  their  character ;  and,  con- 
sequently, all  hope  of  promotion,  might  be  in  less 
dread  than  before ;  but  they  were  very  few ;  and 
their  regiments  would  soon  get  rid  of  them  under 
the  new  law,  that  gave  the  power  of  dismissal  to 
regimental  courts-martial." 

"  But  I  find  the  European  officers  are  almost  all 
of  opinion  that  the  abolition  of  flogging  has  been,  or 
will  be,  attended  with  bad  consequences  ?" 

"  They,  sir,  apprehend  that  there  will  not  be  suffi- 
cient restraint  upon  the  loose  characters  of  the  regi- 
ment ;  but  now  that  the  sipahees  have  got  an  in- 


crease  of  pay  in  proportion  to  length  of  service,  there 
will  be  no  danger  of  that.  Where  can  they  ever 
hope  to  get  such  another  service,  if  they  forfeit 
that  of  the  Company?  If  the  dread  of  losing 
such  a  service  is  not  sufficient  to  keep  the  bad 
in  order,  that  of  being  put  to  work  upon  the 
roads  in  irons  will.  The  good  can  always  be 
kept  in  order  by  lighter  punishments,  when 
they  have  so  much  at  stake,  as  the  loss  of  such  a 
service  by  frequent  offences.  Some  gentlemen  think 
that  a  soldier  does  not  feel  disgraced  by  being 
flogged,  unless  the  offence  for  which  he  has  been 
flogged  is  in  itself  disgraceful.  There  is  no  soldier, 
sir,  that  does  not  feel  disgraced  by  being  tied  up  to 
the  halberts,  and  flogged  in  the  face  of  all  his  com- 
rades, and  the  crowd  that  may  choose  to  come  and 
look  at  him :  the  Sipahees  are  all  of  the  same  re- 
spectable families  as  ourselves ;  and  they  all  enter 
the  service  in  the  hope  of  rising  in  time  to  the  same 
stations  as  ourselves,  if  they  conduct  themselves  well 
—-their  families  look  forward  with  the  same  hope. 
A  man  who  has  been  tied  up  and  flogged  knows  the 
disgrace  that  it  will  bring  upon  his  family,  and  will 
sometimes  rather  die  than  return  to  it ;  indeed,  as 
head  of  a  family,  he  could  not  be  received  at  home.* 

*  The  funeral  obsequies,  which  are  everywhere  offered  up  to 
the  manes  of  parents  by  the  surviving  head  of  the  family  during 
the  first  fifteen  days  of  the  month  of  Kooar,  (September,)  were 
never  considered  as  acceptable  from  the  hands  of  a  soldier  in  our 
service  who  had  been  tied  up  and  flogged^  whatever  might  have 


But   men  do   not  feel    disgraced  in  being  flogged 
with   a  rattan  at  drill.     While  at    the  drill    they 
consider    themselves,    and    are    considered    by   us 
all,  as  in  the  relation  of  scholars   to   their  school' 
masters.     Doing  away  with  the  rattan  at  the  drill 
had  a  very  bad  effect !     Young  men  were  formerly, 
with  the  judicious  use  of  the  rattan,  made  fit  to  join 
the  regiment  at  furthest  in  six  months ;  but  since  the 
abolition  of  the  rattan  it  takes  twelve  months  to 
make  them  fit  to  be  seen  in  the  ranks.     There  was 
much  virtue  in  the  rattan ;  and  it  should  never  have 
been  given  up.     We  have  all  been  flogged  with  the 
rattan  at  the  drill,  and  never  felt  ourselves  disgraced 
by  it — we  were  shagrids^  (scholars,)  and  the  drill- 
serjeant,  who  had  the  rattan,  was  our  oustad,  (school- 
master ;)  but  when  we  left  the  drill,  and  took  our 
station  in  the  ranks  as  Sipahees,  the  case  was  altered, 
and  we  should  have  felt  disgraced  by  a  flogging, 
whatever  might  have  been  the  nature  of  the  offence 
we  committed.     The  drill  will  never  get  on  so  well 
as  it  used  to  do,  unless  the  rattan  be  called  into  use 
again ;  but  we  apprehend  no  evil  from  the  abolition 
of  corporal  punishment  afterwards.     People  are  apt 
to  attribute  to  this  abolition  offences  that  have  no- 
thing to  do  with  it ;  and  for  which  ample  punish- 

been  the  nature  of  the  offence  for  which  he  was  punished  ;  any- 
head  of  a  family  so  flogged  lost,  by  that  punishment,  the  most 
important  of  his  civil  rights — that  indeed  upon  which  all  the 
others  hinged,  for  it  is  by  presiding  at  the  funeral  ceremonies  that 
the  head  of  the  family  secures  and  maintains  his  recognition. 


ments  are  still  provided.  If  a  man  fires  at  his  officer, 
people  are  apt  to  say,  it  is  because  flogging  has  been 
done  away  with ;  but  a  man  who  deliberately  fires  at 
his  officer,  is  prepared  to  undergo  worse  punishments 
than  flogging !"  * 

"  Do  you  not  think  that  the  increase  of  pay  with 
length  of  service  to  the  Sipahees,  will  have  a  good 
effect  in  tending  to  give  to  regiments  more  active 
and  intelligent  native  officers  ?  Old  Sipahees  who 
are  not  so,  will  now  have  less  cause  to  complain  if 
passed  over,  will  they  not  ?" 

"  If  the  Sipahees  thought  that  the  increase  of  pay 
was  given  with  this  view,  they  would  rather  not  have 
it  at  all.  To  pass  over  men  merely  because  they 
happen  to  have  grown  old,  we  consider  very  cruel 
and  unjust.  They  all  enter  the  service  young,  and 
go  on  doing  their  duty  till  they  become  old,  in  the 

*  The  worst  features  of  this  abolition  measure  is  unquestion- 
ably the  odious  distinction  which  it  leaves  in  the  punishments  to 
which  our  European  and  our  native  soldiers  are  liable,  since  the 
British  legislature  does  not  consider  that  it  can  be  safely  abolished 
in  the  British  army.  This  odious  distinction  might  be  easily  re- 
moved by  an  enactment,  declaring  that  European  soldiers  in  India 
should  be  liable  to  corporal  punishment  for  only  two  offences ; — 
1st,  mutiny  or  gross  insubordination ;  2nd,  plunder  or  violence 
while  the  regiment  or  force  to  which  the  prisoner  belongs  is  in 
the  field,  or  marching.  The  same  enactment  might  declare  the 
Soldiers  of  our  native  army  liable  to  the  same  punishments  for  the 
same  offences.  Such  an  enactment  would  excite  no  discontent 
among  our  native  soldiery;  on  the  contrary,  it  would  be  ap- 
plauded as  just  and  proper. 


hope  that  they  shall  get  promotion  when  it  comes  to 
their  turn.  If  they  are  disappointed,  and  young  men, 
or  greater  favourites  with  their  European  officers,  are 
put  over  their  heads,  they  become  heart-broken ! 
We  all  feel  for  them,  and  are  always  sorry  to  see  an 
old  soldier  passed  over,  unless  he  has  been  guilty  of 
any  manifest  crime,  or  neglect  of  duty.  He  has 
always  some  relations  among  the  native  officers,  who 
know  his  family,  for  we  all  try  to  get  our  relations 
into  the  same  regiment  with  ourselves,  when  they 
are  eligible.  They  know  what  that  family  will 
suffer,  when  they  learn  that  he  has  no  longer  any 
hopes  of  rising  in  the  service,  and  has  become  mi- 
serable. Supercessions  create  distress  and  bad  feel- 
ings throughout  a  regiment,  even  when  the  best  men 
are  promoted,  which  cannot  always  be  the  case ;  for 
the  greatest  favourites  are  not  always  the  best  men. 
Many  of  our  old  European  officers,  like  yourself,  are 
absent  on  staff  or  civil  employments;  and  the 
command  of  companies  often  devolves  upon 
very  young  subalterns,  who  know  little  or  no- 
thing of  the  character  of  their  men.  They  recom- 
mend those  whom  they  have  found  most  active  and 
intelligent,  and  believe  to  be  the  best ;  but  their 
opportunities  of  learning  the  characters  of  the  men 
have  been  few.  They  have  seen  and  observed  the 
young,  active,  and  forward ;  but  they  often  know 
nothing  of  the  steady,  unobtrusive  old  soldier,  who 
has  done  his  duty  ably  in  all  situations,  without 
placing  himself  prominently  forward  in  any.     The 


commanding  officers  seldom  remain  long  with  the 
same  regiment;  and,  consequently,  seldom  know 
enough  of  the  men  to  be  able  to  judge  of  the  justice 
of  the  selections  for  promotion.  Where  a  man  has 
been  guilty  of  a  crime,  or  neglected  his  duty,  we  feel 
no  sympathy  for  him,  and  are  not  ashamed  to  tell 
him  so,  and  put  him  down  {kaelkur-hin)  when  he 

Here  the  old  Soobadar,  who  had  been  at  the  taking 
of  the  Isle  of  France,  mentioned,  that  when  he  was 
the  senior  Jemadar  of  his  regiment,  and  a  vacancy 
had  occurred  to  bring  him  in  as  Soobadar,  he  was 
sent  for  by  his  commanding  officer,  and  told,  that  by 
orders  from  head-quarters  he  was  to  be  passed  over, 
on  account  of  his  advanced  age,  and  supposed  in- 
firmity. "  I  felt,"  said  the  old  man,  "  as  if  I  had 
been  struck  by  lightning ;  and  fell  down  dead !  The 
colonel  was  a  good  man,  and  had  seen  much  service. 
He  had  me  taken  into  the  open  air ;  and  when  I  re- 
covered, he  told  me  that  he  would  write  to  the  Com- 
mander-in-chief, and  represent  my  case.  He  did  so 
immediately,  and  I  was  promoted ;  and  I  have  since 
done  my  duty  as  Soobadar  for  ten  years." 

The  Sirdar  Bahadoor  told  me,  that  only  two  men 
in  our  regiment  had  been  that  year  superseded,  one 
for  insolence,  and  the  other  for  neglect  of  duty ;  and 
that  officers  and  sipahees  were  all  happy  in  conse- 
quence— the  young,  because  they  felt  more  secure 
of  being  promoted  if  they  did  their  duty ;  and  the 
old,  because  they  felt  an  interest  in  the  welfare  of 

A    RULE    OF    HUK.  413 

their  young  relations.  "  In  those  regiments,"  said  he, 
"  where  supercessions  have  been  more  numerous,  old 
and  young  are  dispirited,  and  unhappy.  They  all  feel 
that  the  good  old  rule  of  right,  (huk,)  as  long  as  a 
man  does  his  duty  well,  can  no  longer  be  relied 

When  two  companies  of  my  regiment  passed 
through  Jubbulpore,  a  few  days  after  this  conversa- 
tion, on  their  way  from  Saugor  to  Seonee,  I  rode  out 
a  mile  or  two  to  meet  them.  They  had  not  seen  me 
for  sixteen  years ;  but  almost  all  the  native  commis- 
sioned and  non-commissioned  officers  were  personally 
known  to  me.  They  were  all  very  glad  to  see  me, 
and  I  rode  along  with  them  to  their  place  of  en- 
campment, where  I  had  ready  a  feast  of  sweet- 
meats. They  liked  me  as  a  young  man,  and  are, 
I  believe,  proud  of  me  as  an  old  one.  Old  and 
young  spoke,  with  evident  delight,  of  the  rigid  ad- 
herence, on  the  part  of  the  present  commanding 
officer.  Colonel  Presgrave,  to  the  good  old  rule  of 
huk  (right)  in  the  recent  promotions  to  the  vacancies 
occasioned  by  the  annual  transfer  to  the  invalid  esta- 
blishment. We  might,  no  doubt,  have  in  every  re- 
giment a  few  smarter  native  officers  by  disregarding 
this  rule,  than  by  adhering  to  it ;  but  we  should,  in 
the  diminution  of  the  good  feeling  towards  the  Euro- 
pean officers  and  the  government,  lose  a  thousand 
times  more  than  we  gained.  They  now  go  on  from 
youth  to  old  age,  from  the  drill  to  the  retired  pen- 
sion, happy  and  satisfied  that  there  is  no  service  on 


earth  so  good  for  them.  With  admirable  moral,  but 
little  or  no  literary  education,  the  native  officers  of 
our  regiments  never  dream  of  aspiring  to  anything 
more  than  is  now  held  out  to  them,  and  the  mass  of 
the  soldiers  are  inspired  with  devotion  to  the  service, 
and  every  feeling  with  which  we  could  wish  to  have 
them  inspired,  by  the  hope  of  becoming  officers  in 
time,  if  they  discharge  their  duties  faithfully  and 
zealously.  Deprive  the  mass  of  this  hope,  give  the 
commissions  to  an  ejoclusim  class  of  natives,  or  to  a 
favoured  few,  chosen  often,  if  not  commonly,  with- 
out reference  to  the  feelings  or  qualifications  we 
most  want  in  our  native  officers,  and  our  native  army 
will  soon  cease  to  have  the  same  feelings  of  devotion 
towards  the  government,  and  of  attachment  and  re- 
spect towards  their  European  officers,  that  they  now 
have.  The  young,  ambitious,  and  aspiring  native 
officers  will  soon  try  to  teach  the  great  mass,  that 
their  interest  and  that  of  the  European  officers  and 
European  government  are  by  no  means  one  and  the 
same,  as  they  have  been  hitherto  led  to  suppose ; 
and  it  is  upon  the  good  feeling  of  this  great  mass 
that  we  have  to  depend  for  support..  To  secure  this 
good  feeling,  we  can  well  affi^rd  to  sacrifice  a  little 
efficiency  at  the  drill.  It  was  unwise  in  one  of  our 
commanders-in-chief  to  direct,  that  no  soldier  in  our 
Bengal  native  regiments  should  be  promoted  unless 
he  could  read  and  write — it  was  to  prohibit  the  pro- 
motion of  the  best,  and  direct  the  promotion  of  the 
worst  soldiers  in  the  ranks.  In  India  a  military 


officer  is  rated  as  a  gentleman  by  his  birth,  that  is, 
cdste,  and  by  his  deportment  in  all  his  relations  of 
life — not  by  his  knowledge  of  books. 

The  Rajpoot,  the  Brahman,  and  the  proud  Pythan 
who  attains  a  commission,  and  deports  himself  like 
an  officer,  never  thinks  himself,  or  is  thought  by 
others,  deficient  in  anything  that  constitutes  the  gen- 
tleman, because  he  happens  not  to  be  at  the  same 
time  a  clerk.  He  has  from  his  childhood  been  taught 
to  consider  the  quill  and  the  sword  as  two  distinct 
professions — both  useful  and  honourable  when  ho- 
nourably pursued, — and  having  chosen  the  sword,  he 
thinks  he  does  quite  enough  in  learning  how  to  use 
and  support  it  through  all  grades,  and  ought  not  to 
be  expected  to  encroach  on  the  profession  of  the 
penman.  This  is  a  tone  of  feeling  which  it  is  clearly 
the  interest  of  government  rather  to  foster  than  dis- 
courage ;  and  the  order  which  militated  so  much 
against  it,  has  happily  been  either  rescinded  or  dis- 

Three-fourths  of  the  recruits  for  our  Bengal  na- 
tive infantry  are  drawn  from  the  Rajpoot  peasantry 
of  the  kingdom  of  Oude,  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Ganges,  where  their  affections  have  been  linked  to 
the  soil  for  a  long  series  of  generations.  The  good 
feelings  of  the  families  from  which  they  are  drawn, 
continue,  through  the  whole  period  of  their  service, 
to  exercise  a  salutary  influence  over  their  conduct  as 
men  and  as  soldiers.  Though  they  never  take  their 
families  with  them,  they  visit  them  on  furlough  every 


two  or  three  years,  and  always  return  to  them  when 
the  surgeon  considers  a  change  of  air  necessary  to 
their  recovery  from  sickness.  Their  family  circles 
are  always  present  to  their  imaginations ;  and  the 
recollections  of  their  last  visit,  the  hopes  of  the  next, 
and  the  assurance,  that  their  conduct  as  men  and  as 
soldiers  in  the  interval  will  be  reported  to  those 
circles  by  their  many  comrades,  who  are  annually 
returning  on  furlough  to  the  same  parts  of  the  coun- 
try, tend  to  produce  a  general  and  uniform  propriety 
of  conduct,  "that  is  hardly  to  be  found  among  the 
soldiers  of  any  other  army  in  the  world,  and  which 
seems  incomprehensible  to  those  who  are  unac- 
quainted with  its  source, — veneration  for  parents 
cherished  through  life,  and  a  never  impaired  love  of 
home,  and  of  all  the  dear  objects  by  which  it  is  con- 

Our  Indian  native  army  is  perhaps  the  only  entirely 
voluntary  standing  army  that  has  been  ever  known, 
and  it  is,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  entirely  volun- 
tary, and  as  such  must  be  treated.  We  can  have  no 
other  native  army  in  India,  and  without  such  an 
army  we  could  not  maintain  our  dominion  a  day. 
Our  best  officers  have  always  understood  this  quite 
well ;  and  they  have  never  tried  to  flog  and  harass 
men  out  of  all  that  we  find  good  in  them  for  our 
purposes.  Any  regiment  in  our  service  might  lay 
down  their  arms  and  disperse  to-morrow,  without 
our  having  a  chance  of  apprehending  one  deserter 
among  them  all. 


When  Frederick  the  Great,  of  Prussia,  reviewed 
his  army  of  sixty  thousand  men  in  Pomerania,  pre- 
vious to  his  invasion  of  Silesia,  he  asked  the  old 
Prince  d'Anhalt,  who  accompanied  him,  what  he 
most  admired  in  the  scene  before  him? 

"  Sire,"  replied  the  prince,  "  I  admire  at  once  the 
fine  appearance  of  the  men,  and  the  regularity  and 
perfection  of  their  movements  and  evolutions.' 

"  For  my  part,"  said  Frederick,  "  this  is  not  what 
excites  my  astonishment,  since  with  the  advantage 
of  money,  time,  and  care,  these  are  easily  attained. 
It  is  that  you  and  I,  my  dear  cousin,  should  be  in 
the  midst  of  such  an  army  as  this  in  perfect  safety ! 
Here  are  sixty  thousand  men  who  are  all  irrecon- 
cilable enemies  to  both  you  and  myself;  not  one  among 
them  that  is  not  a  man  of  more  strength,  and  better 
armed  than  either,  yet  they  all  tremble  at  our  pre- 
sence, while  it  would  be  folly  on  our  part  to  tremble 
at  theirs — such  is  the  wonderful  effect  of  order,  vigi- 
lance, and  subordination !" 

But  a  reasonable  man  might  ask.  What  were  the 
circumstances  which  enabled  Frederick  to  keep  in  a 
state  of  order  and  subordination  an  army  composed 
of  soldiers,  who  were  "  irreconcilable  enemies'^  of  their 
Prince  and  of  their  officers  ?  He  could  have  told  the 
Prince  d'Anhalt,  had  he  chosen  to  do  so ;  for  Frede- 
rick was  a  man  who  thought  deeply.  The  chief  cir- 
cumstance favourable  to  his  ambition  was  the  utter 
imbecility  of  the  old  French  government,  then  in  its 
dotage,  and  unable  to  see,  that  an  army  of  involun- 

VOL.    II.  E    E 


tary  soldiers  was  no  longer  compatible  with  the  state 
of  the  nation.  This  government  had  reduced  its 
soldiers  to  a  condition  worse  than  that  of  the  com- 
mon labourers  upon  the  roads,  while  it  deprived  them 
of  all  hope  of  rising,  and  all  feeling  of  pride  in  the 
profession.*  Desertion  became  easy  from  the  ex- 
tension of  the  French  dominion,  and  from  the  cir- 
cumstance of  so  many  belligerent  powers  around  re- 
quiring good  soldiers ;  and  no  odium  attended  de- 
sertion, where  everything  was  done  to  degrade,  and 
nothing  to  exalt,  the  soldier  in  his  own  esteem,  and 
that  of  society. 

Instead  of  following  the  course  of  events,  and  ren- 
dering the  condition  of  the  soldier  less  odious,  by  in- 
creasing his  pay  and  hope  of  promotion,  and  dimi- 
nishing the  labour  and  disgrace  to  which  he  was 
liable,  and  thereby  filling  her  regiments  with  volun- 
tary soldiers  when  involuntary  ones  could  be  no 
longer  obtained,  the  government  of  France  reduced 
the  soldier's  pay  to  one-half  the  rate  of  wages  which 
a  common  labourer  got  on  the  roads  ;  and  put  them 
under  restraints  and  restrictions,  that  made  them  feel 
every  day,  and  every  hour,  that  they  were  slaves  ! 
To  prevent  desertions  by  severe  examples  under  this 
high  pressure  system,  they  had  recourse  first  to  slitting 
the  noses  and  cutting  off  the  ears  of  deserters ;  and, 
lastly,  to  shooting  them  as  fast  as  they  could  catch 

*  An  ordinance,  issued  in  France  so  late  as  1778,  required 
that  a  man  should  produce  proof  of  four  quarterings  of  nobility 
before  he  could  get  a  commission  in  the  army. 



them.*  But  all  was  in  vain ;  and  Frederick  of 
Prussia  alone  got  fifty  thousand  of  the  finest  soldiers 
in  the  world  from  the  French  regiments,  who  com- 
posed one-third  of  his  army,  and  enabled  him  to  keep 
all  the  rest  in  that  state  of  discipline  that  improved 
so  much  its  efficiency,  in  the  same  manner  as  the 
deserters  from  the  Roman  legions,  which  took  place 
under  similar  circumstances,  became  the  flower  of 
the  army  of  Mithridates.f 

Frederick  was  in  position  and  disposition  a  despot. 
His  territories  were  small,  while  his  ambition  was 

*  "  Est  et  alia  causa,  cur  attenuatse  sint  legiones,"  says  Vege- 
tius.  "  Magnus  in  illis  labor  est  militandi,  graviora  arma,  sera 
munera,  severior  disciplina.  Quod  Vitantes  plerique,  in  auxiliis 
festinaut  militise  sacramenta  percipere,  ubi  et  minor  sudor,  et  ma- 
turiora  sunt  praemia."     Lib.  ii.  cap.  3. 

t  Montesquieu  thought  "  that  the  government  had  better 
have  stuck  to  the  old  practice  of  slitting  noses  and  cutting  off 
ears,  since  the  French  soldiers,  like  the  Roman  dandies  under 
Pompey,  must  necessarily  have  a  greater  dread  of  a  disfigured 
face  than  of  death  !"  It  did  not  occur  to  him  that  France  could 
retain  her  soldiers  by  other  and  better  motives.  See  Spirit  of 
Laws,  book  vi.  chap.  12.  See  also  Necker  on  the  Finances, 
vol.  ii.  c.  5 ;  vol.  iii.  c.  34.  A  day-labourer  on  the  roads  got 
fifteen  sous  a  day ;  and  a  French  soldier  only  six,  at  the  very 
time  that  the  mortality  of  an  army  of  forty  thousand  men  sent 
to  the  colonies  was  annually  thirteen  thousand  three  hundred  and 
thirty-three,  or  about  one  in  three!  In  our  native  army  the 
Sipahee  gets  about  double  the  wages  of  an  ordinary  day-labourer ; 
and  his  duties,  when  well  done,  involve  just  enough  of  exercise 
to  keep  him  in  health.  The  casualties  are  perhaps  about  one  in 
a  hundred. 



boundless.  He  was  unable  to  pay  a  large  army  the 
rate  of  wages  necessary  to  secure  the  services  of 
voluntary  soldiers ;  and  he  availed  himself  of  the 
happy  imbecility  of  the  French  government  to  form 
an  army  of  involuntary  ones.  He  got  French  sol- 
diers at  a  cheap  rate,  because  they  dared  not  return 
to  their  native  country,  whence  they  were  hunted 
down  and  shot  like  dogs,  and  these  soldiers  enabled 
him  to  retain  his  own  subjects  in  his  ranks  upon  the 
same  terms.  Had  the  French  government  retraced 
its  steps,  improved  the  condition  of  its  soldiers,  and 
mitigated  the  punishment  for  desertion  at  any  time 
during  the  long  war,  Frederick's  army  would  have 
fallen  to  pieces  "  like  the  baseless  fabric  of  a  vision." 
"  Parmi  nous,"  says  Montesquieu,  "  les  desertions 
sont  frequentes  parceque  les  soldats  sont  la  plus  vile 
partie  de  chaque  nation,  et  qu'il  n'y  en  a  aucune  que 
ait,  ou  qui  croie  avoir  un  certain  avantage  sur  les 
autres.  Chez  les  Romains  elles  etaient  plus  rares — 
des  soldats  tires  du  sein  d'un  peuple  si  fier,  si  orgueil- 
leux,  si  sur  de  commander  aux  autres,  ne  pouvaient 
guere  penser  a  s'aviler  jusqu'a  cesser  d'etre  Ro- 
mains." *     But  was  it  the  poor  soldiers  who  were  to 

*  Just  precisely  what  the  French  soldiers  were,  after  the  revo_ 
lution  had  purged  France  of  all  the  "  perilous  stuff  that  weighed 
upon  the  heart"  of  its  people.  Gibbon,  in  considering  the  chance 
of  the  civilized  nations  of  Europe  ever  being  again  overrun  by  the 
barbarians  from  the  North,  as  in  the  time  of  the  Romans,  says — 
"  If  a  savage  conqueror  should  issue  from  the  deserts  of  Tartary, 
he  must  repeatedly  vanquish  the  robust  peasantry  of  Russia  j  the 


blame  that  tliey  were  vile,  and  had  no  advantage  over 
others,  or  the  government  that  took  them  from  the 
vilest  classes,  or  made  their  condition  when  they  got 
them  worse  than  that  of  the  lowest  class  in  society  ? 
The  Romans  deserted  under  the  same  circumstances, 
and,  as  I  have  stated,  formed  the  elite  of  the  army  of 
Mithridates  and  the  other  enemies  of  Rome ;  but  they 
respected  their  military  oath  of  allegiance  long  after 
perjury  among  senators  had  ceased  to  excite  any 
odium,  since,  as  a  fashionable  or  political  vice,  it 
had  become  common. 

Did  not  our  day  of  retribution  come,  though  in  a 
milder  shape,  to  teach  us  a  great  political  and  moral 
lesson,  when  so  many  of  our  brave  sailors  deserted 
our  ships  for  those  of  America,  in  which  they  fought 
against  us  ?  They  deserted  from  our  ships  of  war 
because  they  were  there  treated  like  dogs ;  or  from 
our  merchant  ships,  because  they  were  every  hour 

numerous  armies  of  Germany ;  the  gallant  nobles  of  France ; 
and  the  intrepid  free  men  of  Britain."  Never  was  a  more  just, 
yet  more  unintended  satire  upon  the  state  of  a  country.  Russia 
was  to  depend  upon  her  robust  peasantry ;  Germany  upon  her 
numerous  armies  ;  England  upon  her  intrepid  free  men ;  but 
poor  France  upon  her  gallant  nobles  alone ;  because,  unhappily, 
no  other  part  of  her  vast  population  was  then  ever  thought  of. 
When  the  hour  of  trial  came,  those  pampered  nobles,  who  had 
no  feeling  in  common  with  the  people,  were  shaken  oif  "  like 
dew-drops  from  the  lion's  mane ;"  and  the  hitherto  spurned 
peasantry  of  France,  under  the  guidance  and  auspices  of  men 
who  understood  and  appreciated  them,  astonished  the  world  with 
their  prowess. 


liable  to  be  seized  like  felons,  and  put  on  board  the 
former.  When  "  England  expected  every  man  to  do 
his  duty"  at  Trafalgar,  had  England  done  its  duty  to 
every  man  who  was  that  day  to  fight  for  her?  Is 
not  the  intellectual  stock  which  the  sailor  acquires  in 
scenes  of  peril  "  upon  the  high  and  giddy  mast,"  as 
much  his  property  as  that  which  others  acquire  in 
scenes  of  peace  at  schools  and  colleges  ?  And  have 
not  our  senators,  morally  and  religiously,  as  much 
right  to  authorise  their  sovereign  to  seize  clergymen, 
lawyers,  and  professors  for  employment  in  his  service, 
upon  the  wages  of  ordinary  uninstriicted  labour,  as 
they  have  to  authorise  him  to  seize  able  sailors  to  be 
so  employed  in  her  navy  ?  A  feeling  more  base  than 
that  which  authorised  the  able  seaman  to  be  hunted 
down  upon  such  conditions,  torn  from  his  wife  and 
children,  and  put,  like  Uriah,  in  front  of  those  battles 
upon  which  our  welfare  and  honour  depended,  never 
disgraced  any  civilised  nation  with  whose  history  we 
are  acquainted. 

Sir  Matthew  Decker,  in  a  passage  quoted  by  Mr. 
M'CuUoch,  says,  "  The  custom  of  impressment  puts  a 
freeborn  British  sailor  on  the  same  footing  as  a 
Turkish  slave.  The  grand  seignior  cannot  do  a 
more  absolute  act  than  to  order  a  man  to  be  dragged 
away  from  his  family,  and  against  his  will  run  his 
head  against  the  mouth  of  a  cannon ;  and  if  such  acts 
should  be  frequent  in  Turkey,  upon  any  one  set  of 
useful  men,  would  it  not  drive  them  away  to  other 
countries,  and  thin  their  numbers  yearly  ?  And  would 


not  the  remaining  few  double  or  triple  their  wages, 
which  is  the  case  with  our  sailors  in  time  of  war,  to 
the  great  detriment  of  our  commerce."  The  Ame- 
ricans wisely  relinquished  the  barbarous  and  unwise 
ju-actice  of  their  parent  land ;  and,  as  M'CuUoch 
observes,  "  While  the  wages  of  all  other  sorts  of 
labourers  and  artisans  are  uniformly  higher  in  the 
United  States  than  in  England,  those  of  sailors  are 
generally  lower,"  as  the  natural  consequence  of  man- 
ning their  navy  by  means  of  voluntary  enlistment 
alone.  At  the  close  of  the  last  war,  sixteen  thou- 
sand British  sailors  were  servinof  on  board  of  Ame- 
rican  ships ;  and  the  wages  of  our  seamen  rose  from 
forty  to  fifty,  to  a  hundred  or  one  hundred  and  twenty 
shillings  a  month,  as  the  natural  consequence  of  our 
continuing  to  resort  to  impressment  after  the  Ame- 
ricans had  given  it  up.* 

Frederick's  army  consisted  of  about  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  men, — fifty  thousand  of  these 
were  French  deserters,  and  a  considerable  portion  of 
the  remaining  hundred  thousand  were  deserters  from 
the  Austrian  army,  in  which  desertion  was  punished, 
in  the  same  manner,  with  death.  The  dread  of  this 
punishment,  if  they  quitted  his  ranks,  enabled  him 
to  keep  up  that  state  of  discipline  that  improved  so 
much  the  efiSciency  of  his  regiments,  at  the  same 
time  that  it  made  every  individual  soldier  his  "  irre- 
concilable eiiemyr     Not  relying  entirely  upon  this 

*  See  M^Culloch,  Pol.  Ecoa.  page  235,  first  edition,  Edin- 
burgh,   1825. 


dread  on  the  part  of  deserters  to  quit  his  ranks, 
under  his  high  pressure  system  of  discipline,  and 
afraid  that  the  soldiers  of  his  own  soil  might  make 
off  in  spite  of  all  their  vigilance,  he  kept  his  re- 
giments in  garrison  towns  till  called  on  actual  ser- 
vice ;  and  that  they  might  not  desert  on  their  way 
from  one  garrison  to  another  during  relief,  he  never 
had  them  relieved  at  all.  A  trooper  was  flogged  for 
falling  from  his  horse,  though  he  had  broken  a  limb 
in  his  fall — it  was  difficult,  he  said,  to  distinguish 
an  involuntary  fault  from  one  that  originated  in  neg- 
ligence, and  to  prevent  a  man  hoping  that  his  negli- 
gence would  be  forgiven,  all  plunders  were  punished, 
from  whatever  cause  arising.  No  soldier  was  suffered 
to  quit  his  garrison  till  led  out  to  fight ;  and  when  a 
desertion  took  place,  cannon  were  fired  to  announce 
it  to  the  surrounding  country.  Great  rewards  were 
given  for  apprehending,  and  severe  punishments 
inflicted  for  harbouring  the  criminal ;  and  he  was  soon 
hunted  down,  and  brought  back.  A  soldier  was, 
therefore,  always  a  prisoner  and  a  slave  ! 

Still,  all  this  rigor  of  Prussian  discipline,  like  that 
of  our  navy,  was  insufficient  to  extinguish  that  am- 
bition which  is  inherent  in  our  nature,  to  ob- 
tain the  esteem  and  applause  of  the  circle  in  which 
we  move ;  and  the  soldier  discharged  his  duty  in  the 
hour  of  danger,  in  the  hope  of  rendering  his  life  more 
happy  in  the  esteem  of  his  officers  and  comrades. 
"  Every  tolerably  good  soldier  feels,"  says  Adam 
Smith.  "  that  he  would  become  the  scorn  of  his  com- 


panions  if  he  should  be  supposed  capable  of  shrink- 
ing from  danger,  or  of  hesitating  either  to  expose  or 
to  throw  away  his  life,  when  the  good  of  the  service 
required  it."  So  thought  the  philosopher  king  of 
Prussia,  when  he  let  his  regiments  out  of  garrison, 
to  go  and  face  the  enemy !  The  officers  were  always 
treated  with  as  much  lenity  in  the  Prussian  as  any 
other  service,  because  the  king  knew  that  the  hope 
of  promotion  would  always  be  sufficient  to  bind  them 
to  their  duties ;  but  the  poor  soldiers  had  no  hope  of 
this  kind  to  animate  them  in  their  toils  and  their 

We  took  our  system  of  drill  from  Frederick  of 
Prussia;  and  there  is  still  many  a  martinet  who 
would  carry  his  high  pressure  system  of  discipline 
into  every  other  service  over  which  he  had  any  con- 
trol, unable  to  appreciate  the  difference  of  circum- 
stances under  which  they  may  happen  to  be  raised 
and  maintained.*    The  Sipahees  of  the  Bengal  army, 

*  Many  German  princes  adopted  the  discipline  of  Frederick  in 
their  Httle  petty  states,  without  exactly  knowing  why,  or  where- 
fore. The  Prince  of  Darmstadt  conceived  a  great  passion  for  the 
military  art ;  and  when  the  weather  would  not  permit  him  to 
worry  his  little  army  of  five  thousand  men  in  the  open  air,  he  had 
them  worried  for  his  amusement  under  sheds.  But  he  was  soon 
obliged  to  build  a  wall  round  the  town  in  which  he  drilled  his 
soldiers,  for  the  sole  purpose  of  preventing  their  running  away — 
round  this  wall  he  had  a  regular  chain  of  sentries  to  fire  at  the 
deserters.  Mr.  Moore  thought  the  discontent  in  this  little  band 
was  greater  than  in  the  Prussian  army,  inasmuch  as  the  soldiers 
saw  no  object  but  the  prince's  amusement.  A  fight,  or  the  pros- 
pect of  a  6ght,  would  have  been  a  feast  to  them. 


the  only  part  of  our  native  army  with  which  I  am 
much  acquainted,  are  educated  as  soldiers  from  their 
infancy — they  are  brought  up  in  that  feeling  of  en- 
tire deference  for  constituted  authority  which  we 
require  in  soldiers,  and  which  they  never  lose  through 
life.  They  are  taken  from  the  agricultural  classes 
of  Indian  society — almost  all  the  sons  of  yeomen — 
cultivating  proprietors  of  the  soil,  whose  families 
have  increased  beyond  their  means  of  subsistence. 
One  son  is  sent  out  after  another  to  seek  service  in 
our  regiments  as  necessity  presses  at  home,  from 
whatever  cause —  the  increase  of  taxation,  or  the  too 
great  increase  of  numbers  in  families.*  No  men 
can  have  a  higher  sense  of  the  duty  they  owe  to  the 
state  that  employs  them,  or  whose  salt  they  eat ;  nor 
can  any  men  set  less  value  on  life  when  the  service 
of  that  state  requires  that  it  shall  be  risked  or  sacri- 
ficed. No  persons  are  brought  up  with  more  de- 
ference for  parents.  In  no  family  from  which  we 
draw  our  recruits  is  a  son  through  infancy,  boyhood, 
or  youth,  heard  to  utter  a  disrespectful  word  to  his 
parents — such   a  word  from  a    son  to  his  parents 

*  Speaking  of  the  question  whether  recruits  drawn  from  the 
country  or  the  towns  were  hest,  Vegetius  says—"  De  qua  parte 
nunquam  credo  potuisse  dubitari,  optiorem  armis  rusticam  plebem, 
quae  sub  divor  et  in  labore  nutritur ;  soils  patiens ;  umbrae  neg- 
ligens  ;  balnearum  nescia ;  deUciarum  ignora  ;  simphcisanimi ; 
parvo  contenta  ;  duratis  ad  omnem  laborum  tolerantiam  membris : 
cui  gestari  ferrum,  fossam  ducere,  ornis  ferre,  consuetude  de  rure 
est." — De  re  Militari,  Ub.  i.  cap.  3. 


would  shock  the  feelings  of  the  whole  community 
in  which  the  family  resides,  and  the  offending  mem- 
ber would  be  visited  with  their  highest  indignation. 
When  the  father  dies  the  eldest  son  takes  his  place, 
and  receives  the  same  marks  of  respect, — the  same 
entire  confidence  and  deference  as  the  father.  If  he 
be  a  soldier  in  a  distant  land,  and  can  aiford  to  do  so, 
he  resigns  the  service,  and  returns  home,  to  take  his 
post  as  the  head  of  the  family.  If  he  cannot  afford 
to  resig-n,  if  the  family  still  want  the  aid  of  his  re- 
gular monthly  pay,  he  remains  with  his  regiment ; 
and  denies  himself  many  of  the  personal  comforts  he 
has  hitherto  enjoyed,  that  he  may  increase  his  con- 
tribution to  the  general  stock. 

The  wives  and  children  of  his  brothers,  who  are 
absent  on  service,  are  confided  to  his  care  with  the 
same  confidence  as  to  that  of  the  father.  It  is  a  rule 
to  which  I  have  through  life  found  but  few  excep- 
tions, that  those  who  are  most  disposed  to  resist  con- 
stituted authority,  are  those  most  disposed  to  abuse 
such  authority  when  they  get  it.  The  members  of 
these  families,  disposed,  as  they  always  are,  to  pay 
deference  to  such  authority,  are  scarcely  ever  found 
to  abuse  it  when  it  devolves  upon  them ;  and  the 
elder  son,  when  he  succeeds  to  the  place  of  his 
father,  loses  none  of  the  affectionate  attachment  of 
his  younger  brothers. 

They  never  take  their  wives  or  children  with  them 
to  their  regiments,  or  to  the  places  where  their  regi- 


merits  are  stationed.  They  leave  them  with  their 
fathers  or  elder  brothers,  and  enjoy  their  society  only 
when  they  return  on  furlough.  Three-fourths  of 
their  incomes  are  sent  home  to  provide  for  their  com- 
fort and  subsistence,  and  to  embellish  that  home  in 
which  they  hope  to  spend  the  winter  of  their  days. 
The  knowledge,  that  any  neglect  of  the  duty  they 
owe  their  distant  families  will  be  immediately  visited 
by  the  odium  of  their  native  officers  and  brother 
soldiers,  and  ultimately  communicated  to  the  heads 
of  these  families,  acts  as  a  salutary  check  on  their 
conduct ;  and  I  believe  that  there  is  hardly  a  native 
regiment  in  the  Bengal  army,  in  which  the  twenty 
drummers,  who  are  Christians,  and  have  their  fami- 
lies with  the  regiment,  do  not  cause  more  trouble 
to  the  officers  than  the  whole  eight  hundred 

To  secure  the  fidelity  of  such  men,  all  that  is  ne- 
cessary is,  to  make  them  feel  secure  of  three  things — ■ 
their  regular  pay,  at  the  handsome  rate  at  which  it 
has  now  been  fixed  ;  their  retiring  pensions  upon  the 
scale  hitherto  enjoyed ;  and  promotion  by  seniority, 
like  their  European  officers,  unless  they  shall  forfeit 
all  claims  to  it  by  misconduct  or  neglect  of  duty. 
People  talk  about  a  demoralized  army,  and  discon- 
tented army !  No  army  in  the  world  was  certainly 
ever  more  moral,  or  more  contented,  than  our  na- 
tive army ;  or  more  satisfied  that  their  masters  merit 
all  their  devotion  and   attachment ;    and  I  believe 

THE    DRILL.  429 

none  was  ever  more  devoted  or  attached  to  them.* 
I  do  not  speak  of  the  European  officers  of  the  na- 
tive army.  They  very  generally  believe  that  they 
have  had  just  cause  of  complaint,  and  sufficient  care 
has  not  always  been  taken  to  remove  that  impres- 
sion. In  all  the  junior  grades  the  honourable  Com- 
pany's officers  have  advantages  over  the  Queen's  in 
India.  In  the  higher  grades  the  Queens  officers 
have  advantages  over  those  of  the  honourable  Com- 
pany. The  reasons  it  does  not  behove  me  here  to 

In  all  armies  composed  of  involuntary  soldiers, 
that  is,  of  soldiers  who  are  anxious  to  quit  the  ranks 
and  return  to  peaceful  occupations,  but  cannot  do  so, 
much  of  the  drill  to  which  they  are  subjected,  is 
adopted  merely  with  a  view  to  keep  them  from  pon- 
dering too  much  upon  the  miseries  of  their  present 
condition ;  and  from  indulging  in  those  licentious 
habits  to  which  a  strong  sense  of  these  miseries,  and 

*  I  believe  the  native  army  to  be  better  now  than  it  ever  was  : 
better  in  its  disposition  and  in  its  organization.  The  men  have 
now  a  better  feehng  of  assurance  than  they  formerly  had,  that  all 
their  rights  will  be  secured  to  them  by  their  European  officers  : 
that  all  those  officers  are  men  of  honour,  though  they  have  not 
all  of  them  the  sanie  fellow-feeling  that  their  officers  had  with 
them  in  former  days.  This  is  because  they  have  not  the  same 
opportunity  of  seeing  their  courage  and  fidelity  tried  in  the  same 
scenes  of  common  danger.  Go  to  Affghanistan  and  to  China, 
and  you  will  find  the  feeling  between  officers  and  men,  as  fine  as 
it  ever  was  in  days  of  yore,  whatever  it  may  be  at  our  large  and 
gay  stations,  where  they  see  so  little  of  each  other. 


the  recollection  of  the  enjoyments  of  peaceful  life 
which  they  have  sacrificed,  are  too  apt  to  drive 
them.  No  portion  of  this  is  necessary  for  the  soldiers 
of  our  native  army,  who  have  no  miseries  to  ponder 
over,  or  superior  enjoyments  in  peaceful  life  to  look 
back  upon ;  and  a  very  small  quantity  of  drill  is  suf- 
ficient to  make  a  regiment  of  Sipahees  go  through 
its  evolutions  well,  because  they  have  all  a  pride  and 
pleasure  in  their  duties,  as  long  as  they  have  a  com- 
manding officer  who  understands  them.  Clarke,  in 
his  Travels,  speaking  of  the  three  thousand  native 
infantry  from  India  whom  he  saw  paraded  in  Egypt 
under  their  gallant  leader.  Sir  David  Baird,  says, 
"  Troops  in  such  a  state  of  military  perfection,  or 
better  suited  for  active  service,  were  never  seen — 
not  even  on  the  famous  parade  of  the  chosen  ten 
thousand  belonging  to  Bonaparte's  legions,  which  he 
was  so  vain  of  displaying  before  the  present  war  in 
the  front  of  the  Tuileries  at  Paris.  Not  an  un- 
healthy soldier  was  to  be  seen.  The  English,  in- 
ured to  the  climate  of  India,  considered  that  of 
Egypt  as  temperate  in  its  effects ;  and  the  Sipahees 
seemed  as  fond  of  the  Nile  as  the  Ganges." 

It  would  be  much  better  to  devise  more  innocent 
amusements  to  lighten  the  miseries  of  European  sol- 
diers in  India,  than  to  be  worrying  them  every  hour, 
night  and  day,  with  duties,  which  are  in  themselves 
considered  to  be  of  no  importance  whatever,  and 
imposed  merely  with  a  view  to  prevent  their  having 
time  to  ponder  on  these  miseries.     But  all  extra  and 

THE    DRILL.  431 

useless  duties  to  a  soldier  become  odious,  because 
they  are  always  associated  in  his  mind  with  the  ideas 
of  the  odious  and  degrading  punishment  inflicted  for 
the  neglect  of  them.  It  is  lamentable  to  think  how 
much  of  misery  is  often  wantonly  inflicted  upon  the 
brave  soldiers  of  our  European  regiments  of  India, 
on  the  pretence  of  a  desire  to  preserve  order  and 
discipline !  * 

Sportsmen  know  that  if  they  train  their  horses 
beyond  a  certain  point,  they  train  off;  that  is,  they 
lose  the  spirit,  and  with  it  the  condition  they  require 
to  support  them  in  the  hour  of  trial.  It  is  the  same 
with  soldiers ;  if  drilled  beyond  a  certain  point,  they 
drill  off;  and  lose  the  spirit  which  they  require  to 
sustain  them  in  active  service,  and  before  the  enemy. 
An  over-drilled  regiment  will  seldom  go  through  its 
evolutions  well,  even  in  ordinary  review,  before  its 
own  general.  If  it  has  all  the  mechanism,  it  wants 
all  the  real  spirit  of  military  discipline,  it  becomes 
dogged  ;  and  is,  in  fact,  a  body  without  a  soul !  The 
martinet,  who  is  seldom  a  man  of  much  intellect,  is 
satisfied  as  long  as  the  bodies  of  his  men  are  drilled 
to  his  liking :  his  narrow  mind  comprehends  only  one 

*  Their  commanding  officers  say,  as  Pharaoh  said  to  the 
Israelites,  "  Let  there  be  more  work  laid  upon  them,  that  they 
may  labour  therein ;  and  not  enter  into  vain  discourses."  Life 
to  such  men  becomes  intolerable  ;  and  they  either  destroy  them- 
selves, or  commit  murder,  that  they  may  be  taken  to  a  distant 
court  for  trial. 


of  the  principles  which  influence  mankind — -fear; 
and  upon  this  he  acts  with  all  the  pertinacity  of  a 
slave  driver.  If  he  does  not  disgrace  himself  when 
he  comes  before  the  enemy,  as  he  commonly  does,  by 
his  own  incapacity,  his  men  will  perhaps  try  to  dis- 
grace him,  even  at  the  sacrifice  of  what  they  hold 
dearer  than  their  lives — their  reputation.  The  real 
soldier,  who  is  generally  a  man  of  mere  intellect, 
cares  more  about  the  feelings  than  the  bodies  of  his 
men  :  he  wants  to  command  their  affections  as  well 
as  their  limbs ;  and  he  inspires  them  with  a  feeling 
of  enthusiasm  that  renders  them  insensible  to  all 
danger — such  men  were  Lord  Lake,  and  Generals 
Ochterlony,  Malcolm,  and  Adams,  and  such  are  many 
others,  well  known  in  India. 

Under  the  martinet,  the  soldiers  will  never  do 
more  than  what  a  due  regard  for  their  own  reputation 
demands  from  them  before  the  enemy,  and  will  some- 
times do  less.  Under  the  real  soldier,  they  will 
always  do  more  than  this  :  his  reputation  is  dearer  to 
them  even  than  their  own ;  and  they  will  do  more  to 
sustain  it.  The  army  of  the  consul,  Appius  Claudius, 
exposed  themselves  to  almost  inevitable  destruction 
before  the  enemy,  to  disgrace  him  in  the  eyes  of  his 
country,  and  the  few  survivors  were  decimated  on 
their  return :  he  cared  nothing  for  the  spirit  of  his 
men.  The  army  of  his  colleague,  Quintius,  on  the 
contrary,  though  from  the  same  people,  and  levied 
and  led  out  at  the  same  time,  covered  him  with 


glory,  because  they  loved  him.'*  We  had  an  instance 
of  this  in  the  war  with  Nepaul,  in  1815,  in  which  a 
king's  regiment  played  the  part  of  the  army  of  Appius. 
There  were  other  martinets,  king's  and  company's, 
commanding  divisions  in  that  war,  and  they  all  sig- 
nally failed ;  not  however,  except  in  the  above  one 
instance,  from  backwardness  on  the  part  of  their 
troops,  but  from  utter  incapacity  when  the  hour  of 
trial  came.  Those  who  succeeded  were  men  always 
noted  for  caring  something  more  about  the  hearts 
than  the  whiskers  and  buttons  of  their  men.  That 
the  officer  who  delights  in  harassing  his  regiment  in 
times  of  peace,  will  fail  with  it  in  times  of  war,  and 
scenes  of  peril,  seems  to  me  to  be  a  rule  almost  as 
well  established,  as  that  he,  who  in  the  junior  ranks 
of  the  army  delights  most  to  kick  against  authority, 

*  See  Livy,  lib.  ii.  cap.  59.  The  infantry  under  Fabius  had 
refused  to  conquer,  that  their  general,  whom  they  hated,  might 
not  triumph ;  but  the  whole  army  under  Claudius,  whom  they 
had  more  cause  to  detest,  not  only  refused  to  conquer,  but  deter- 
mined to  be  conquered,  that  he  might  be  involved  in  their  dis- 
grace. All  the  abilities  of  Lucullus,  one  of  the  ablest  generals 
Rome  ever  had,  were  rendered  almost  useless  by  his  disregard  to 
the  feelings  of  his  soldiers.  He  could  not  perceive  that  the  civil 
wars,  under  Marius  and  Sylla,  had  rendered  a  different  treatment 
of  Roman  soldiers  necessary  to  success  in  war.  Pompey,  his  suc- 
cessor, a  man  of  inferior  military  genius,  succeeded  much  better, 
because  he  had  the  sagacity  to  see  that  he  now  required,  not 
only  the  confidence,  but  the  affections  of  his  soldiers.  Caesar,  to 
abilities  even  greater  than  those  of  Lucullus,  united  the  conci- 
liatory spirit  of  Pompey. 

VOL.    II.  F  F 



is  always  found  the  most  disposed  to  abuse  it  when 
he  gets  to  the  higher.  In  long  intervals  of  peace, 
the  only  prominent  military  characters  are  com- 
monly such  martinets;  and  hence  the  failures  so 
generally  experienced  in  the  beginning  of  a  war 
after  such  an  interval.  Whitelocks  are  chosen  for 
command,  and  disasters  follow,  till  Wolfes  and  Wel- 
lingtons find  Chathams  and  Wellesleys  to  climb 
up  by. 

To  govern  those,  whose  mental  and  physical  ener- 
gies we  require  for  our  subsistence  or  support,  by  the 
fear  of  the  lash  alone,  is  so  easy,  so  simple  a  mode  of 
bending  them  to  our  will,  and  making  them  act 
strictly  and  instantly  in  conformity  to  it,  that  it  is 
not  at  all  surprising  to  find  so  many  of  those  who 
have  been  accustomed  to  it,  and  are  not  themselves 
liable  to  have  the  lash  inflicted  upon  them,  advocating 
its  free  use.  In  China  the  Emperor  has  his 
generals  flogged;  and  finds  the  lash  so  efficacious 
in  bending  them  to  his  will,  that  nothing  would 
persuade  him  that  it  could  ever  be  safely  dis- 
pensed with  !  In  some  parts  of  Germany,  they  had 
the  officers  flogged  ;  and  princes  and  generals  found 
this  so  very  efficacious  in  making  those  act  in  con- 
formity to  their  will,  that  they  found  it  difficult  to 
believe,  that  any  army  could  be  well  managed  with- 
out it !  In  other  Christian  armies,  the  oflficers  are 
exempted  from  the  lash,  but  they  use  it  freely  upon 
all  under  them  ;  and  it  would  be  exceedingly  difficult 
to  convince  the  greater  part  of  these  officers,  that 

USE    OF   THE   LASH.  435 

the  free  use  of  the  lash  is  not  indispensably  neces- 
sary, nay,  that  the  men  do  not  themselves  like  to  be 
flogged,  as  eels  like  to  be  skinned,  when  they  once 
get  used  to  it.  Ask  the  slave-holders  of  the  southern 
states  of  America,  whether  any  society  can  be  well 
constituted  unless  the  greater  part  of  those  upon  the 
sweat  of  whose  brow  the  community  depends  for 
their  subsistence,  are  made  by  law  liable  to  be 
bought,  sold,  and  driven  to  their  daily  labour  with 
the  lash:  they  will  one  and  all  say,  no;  and  yet 
there  are  doubtless  many  very  excellent  and  ami- 
able persons  among  those  slave-holders.  If  our 
army,  as  at  present  constituted,  cannot  do  without 
the  free  use  of  the  lash,  let  its  constitution  be 
altered ;  for  no  nation  with  free  institutions  should 
suffer  its  soldiers  to  be  flogged.  "  Laudabiliores 
tamen  duces  sunt,  quorum  exercitus  ad  modestiam 
labor  et  usus  instituit,  quam  illi  quorum  milites,  ad 
obedientiam,  suppliciorum  formido  compellit."* 

Though  I  reprobate  that  wanton  severity  of  dis- 
cipline in  which  the  substance  is  sacrificed  to  the 
form,  in  which  unavoidable  and  trivial  offences  are 
punished  as  deliberate  and  serious  crimes,  and  the 
spirit  of  the  soldier  is  entirely  disregarded,  while  the 
motion  of  his  limbs,  cut  of  his  whiskers,  and  the 
buttons  of  his  coat  are  scanned  with  microscopic  eye, 
I  must  not  be  thought  to  advocate  idleness.     If  we 

*  If  corporal  punishment  be  retained  at  all,  it  should  be  limit- 
ed to  the  two  offences  I  have  already  mentioned. — Vegetius  de 
re  Militari,  lib.  iii.  cap.  4. 

F    F    2 


find  the  Sipaliees  of  a  native  regiment,  as  we  some- 
times do  at  a  healthy  and  chea^p  station,  become  a 
little  unruly,  like  schoolboys,  and  ask  an  old  native 
officer  the  reason,  he  will  probably  answer  others  as 
he  has  me,  by  another  question — "  Ghora  ara  keoon  f 
Panee  sura  keoon  f ."  "  Why  does  the  horse  become 
vicious  ?  why  does  the  water  become  putrid  ?"  for 
want  of  exercise.  Without  proper  attention  to  this 
exercise,  no  regiment  is  ever  kept  in  order ;  nor  has 
any  commanding  officer  ever  the  respect  or  the  affec- 
tions of  his  men  unless  they  see  that  he  understands 
well  all  the  duties  which  his  government  intrusts  to 
him ;  and  is  resolved  to  have  them  performed  in  all 
situations,  and  under  all  circumstances.  There  are 
always  some  bad  characters  in  a  regiment,  to  take 
advantage  of  any  laxity  of  discipline,  and  lead  astray 
the  younger  soldiers,  whose  spirits  have  been  ren- 
dered exuberant  by  good  health  and  good  feeding; 
and  there  is  hardly  any  crime  to  which  they  will  not 
try  to  excite  these  young  men,  under  an  officer  care- 
less about  the  discipline  of  his  regiment,  or  dis- 
inclined, from  a  m\^i2k&Ti.  es'prit  du  corps,  or  any  other 
cause,  to  have  those  crimes  traced  home  to  them,  and 

*  Polibius  says,  "  that  as  the  human  body  is  apt  to  get  out  of 
order  under  good  feeding  and  Httle  exercise,  so  are  states  and 
armies."  B.  11.  chap.  6. — Wherever  food  is  cheap,  and  the  air 
good,  native  regiments  should  be  well  exercised,  without  being 

I  must  here  take  the  Hberty  to  give  an  extract  from  a  letter 


There  can  be  no  question,  that  a  good  tone  of 
feeling  between  the  European  officers  and  their  men 

from  one  of  the  best  and  most  estimable  officers  now  in  the 
Bengal  army : — "  As  connected  with  the  discipHne  of  the  native 
army,  I  may  here  remark,  that  I  have  for  some  years  past  ob- 
served, on  the  part  of  many  otherwise  excellent  commanding 
officers,  a  great  want  of  attention  to  the  instruction  of  the  young 
European  officers  on  first  joining  their  regiments.  I  have  had 
ample  opportunities  of  seeing  the  great  value  of  a  regular  course 
of  instruction  drill  for  at  least  six  months.  When  I  joined  my 
first  regiment,  which  was  about  forty  years  ago,  I  had  the  good 
fortune  to  be  under  a  commandant  and  adjutant  who,  happily 
for  me  and  many  others,  attached  great  importance  to  this  very 
necessary  course  of  instruction.  I  then  acquired  a  thorough 
knowledge  of  my  duties,  which  led  to  my  being  appointed  an 
adjutant  very  early  in  life.  When  I  attained  the  rank  of  lieu- 
tenant-colonel, I  had  however  opportunities  of  observing,  how  very 
much  this  essential  duty  had  been  neglected  in  certain  regiments  ; 
and  made  it  a  rule  in  all  that  I  commanded  to  keep  all  young 
officers,  on  first  joining,  at  the  instruction  drill  till  thoroughly 
grounded  in  their  duties.  Since  I  ceased  to  command  a  regi- 
ment, I  have  taken  advantage  of  every  opportunity  to  express  to 
those  commanding  officers,  with  whom  I  have  been  in  corres- 
pondence, my  conviction  of  the  great  advantages  of  this  system 
to  the  rising  generation.  In  going  from  one  regiment  to  another, 
I  found  many  curious  instances  of  ignorance  on  the  part  of  young 
officers,  who  had  been  many  years  with  their  corps.  It  was  by 
no  means  an  easy  task  at  first  to  convince  them  that  they  really 
knew  nothing,  or  at  least  had  a  great  deal  to  learn ;  but  when 
they  were  made  sensible  of  it,  they  many  of  them  turned  out  ex- 
cellent officers,  and  now  I  believe  bless  the  day  they  were  first 
put  under  me." 

The  advantages  of  the  system  here  mentioned,  cannot  be  ques- 
tioned ;  and  it  is  much  to  be  regretted,  that  it  is  not  strictly  en- 
forced in  every  regiment  in  the  service.     Young  officers  may  fmd 



is  essential  to  the  well-being  of  our  native  army ; 
and  I  think  I  have  found  this  tone  somewhat  im- 
paired whenever  our  native  regiments  are  concen- 
trated at  large  stations.  In  such  places  the  Euro- 
pean society  is  commonly  large  and  gay ;  and  the 
officers  of  our  native  regiments  become  too  much 
occupied  in  its  pleasures  and  ceremonies,  to  attend 
to  their  native  officers  or  sipahees.  In  Europe  there 
are  separate  classes  of  people,  who  subsist  by  catering 
for  the  amusements  of  the  higher  circles  of  society, 
in  theatres,  operas,  concerts,  balls,  &c.  &c. ;  but  in 
India  this  duty  devolves  entirely  upon  the  young 
civil  and  military  officers  of  the  government,  and  at 
large  stations  it  really  is  a  very  laborious  one,  which 
often  takes  up  the  whole  of  a  young  man's  time. 
The  ladies  must  have  amusement ;  and  the  officers 
must  find  it  for  them,  because  there  are  no  other 
persons  to  undertake  the  arduous  duty.  The  con- 
sequence is,  that  they  often  become  entirely  alienated 
from  their  men;  and  betray  signs  of  the  greatest  im- 
patience, while  they  listen  to  the  necessary  reports 
of  their  native  officers,  as  they  come  on  or  go  off 

It  is  different  when  regiments  are  concentrated 
for  active  service.  Nothing  tends  so  much  to  im- 
prove the  tone  of  feeling  between  the  European 

it  irksome  at  first ;  but  they  soon  become  sensible  of  the  advan- 
tages, and  learn  to  applaud  the  commandant  who  has  had  the 
firmness  to  consult  their  permanent  interests  more  than  their 
present  inclinations. 


officers  and  their  men,  and  between  European  sol- 
diers and  sipahees,  as  the  concentration  of  forces  on 
actual  service,  where  the  same  hopes  animate,  and 
the  same  dangers  unite  them  in  common  bonds  of 
sympathy  and  confidence.  "  Utrique  alteris  freti, 
finitumos  arimis  aut  metu  sub  imperium  cogere, 
nomen  gloriamque  sibi  addidere."  After  the  cam- 
paigns under  Lord  Lake,  a  native  regiment  passing 
Dinapore,  where  the  gallant  King's  76th,  with  whom 
they  had  often  fought  side  by  side,  was  cantoned,  in- 
vited the  soldiers  to  a  grand  entertainment  provided 
for  them  by  the  sipahees.  They  consented  to  go,  on 
one  condition, — that  the  sipahees  should  see  them 
all  back  safe  before  morning.  Confiding  in  their  sable 
friends,  they  all  got  gloriously  drunk,  but  found 
themselves  lying  every  man  upon  his  proper  cot  in 
his  own  barracks  in  the  morning.  The  sipahees 
had  carried  them  all  home  upon  their  shoulders. 
Another  native  regiment,  passing  within  a  few  miles 
of  a  hill  on  which  they  had  buried  one  of  their 
European  oflftcers  after  that  war,  solicited  permission 
to  go  and  make  their  salam  to  the  tomb,  and  all  went 
who  were  off  duty. 

The  system  which  now  keeps  the  greater  part  of 
our  native  infantry  at  small  stations  of  single  regi- 
ments in  times  of  peace,  tends  to  preserve  this  good 
tone  of  feeling  between  oflScers  and  men ;  at  the 
same  time  that  it  promotes  the  general  welfare  of 
the  country,  by  giving  confidence  everywhere  to  the 
peaceful  and  industrious  classes. 


I  will  not  close  this  chapter  without  mentioning 
one  thing,  which  I  have  no  doubt  that  every  Company's 
officer  in  India  will  concur  with  me  in  thinking 
desirable,  to  improve  the  good  feeling  of  the  native 
soldiery, — that  is,  an  increase  to  the  pay  of  the  Jema- 
dars. They  are  commissioned  officers ;  and  seldom 
attain  the  rank  in  less  than  from  twenty-five  to 
thirty  years  ;^  and  they  have  to  provide  themselves 
with  clothes  of  the  same  costly  description  as  those 
of  the  Subadar ;  to  be  as  well  mounted,  and  in  all 
respects  to  keep  up  the  same  respectability  of  appear- 
ance, while  their  pay  is  only  twenty-four  rupees  and  a 
half  a  month  ;  that  is,  ten  rupees  a  month  only  more 
than  they  had  been  receiving  in  the  grade  of  Havil- 
dars,  which  is  not  sufficient  to  meet  the  additional 
expenses  to  which  they  become  liable  as  commis- 
sioned officers.  Their  means  of  remittance  to  their 
families  are  rather  diminished  than  increased  by 
promotion ;  and  but  few  of  them  can  hope  ever  to 
reach  the  next  grade  of  Subadar.  Our  government, 
which  has  of  late  been  so  liberal  to  its  native  civil 
officers,  will  I  hope  soon  take  into  consideration  the 
claims  of  this  class,  who  are  universally  admitted  to 
be  the  worst  paid  class  of  native  public  officers  in 
India.     Ten  rupees  a  month  addition   to  their  pay 

*  There  are,  I  believe,  many  Jemadars  who  still  wear  medals 
on  their  breasts,  for  their  service  in  the  taking  of  Java  and  the 
Isle  of  France,  more  than  thirty  years  ago.  Indeed  I  suspect 
that  some  will  be  found  who  accompanied  Sir  David  Baird  to 


would  be  of  great  importance; — it  would  enable 
them  to  impart  some  of  the  advantages  of  their  pro- 
motion to  their  families ;  and  improve  the  good 
feeling  of  the  circles  around  them  towards  the  govern- 
ment they  serve. 




I  HAVE  said  nothing  in  the  foregoing  chapter  of 
the  invalid  establishment,  which  is  probably  the 
greatest  of  all  bonds  of  union  between  the  govern- 
ment and  its  native  army ;  and  consequently  the 
greatest  element  in  the  "  spirit  of  discipline."  Bo- 
naparte, who  was,  perhaps,  with  all  his  faults,  "  the 
greatest  man  that  ever  floated  on  the  tide  of  time," 
said  at  Elba,  "  There  is  not  even  a  village  that  has 
not  brought  forth  a  general,  a  colonel,  a  captain,  or 
a  prefect,  who  has  raised  himself  by  his  especial 
merit,  and  illustrated  at  once  his  family  and  his 
country."  Now  we  know,  that  the  families  and  the 
village  communities,  in  which  our  invalid  pensioners 
reside,  never  read  newspapers,  and  feel  but  little 
interest  in  the  victories  in  which  these  pensioners 
may  have  shared.  They  feel,  that  they  have  no  share 
in  the  eclat  or  glory  which  attend  them ;  but  they 
everywhere    admire   and   respect    the    government 


which  cherishes  its  faithful  old  servants,  and  enables 
them  to  spend  "  the  winter  of  their  days"  in  the 
bosoms  of  their  families ;  and  they  spurn  the  man  who 
has  failed  in  his  duty  towards  that  government  in  the 
hour  of  need.  No  sipahee  taken  from  the  Rajpoot 
communities  of  Oude,  or  any  other  part  of  the  coun- 
try, can  hope  to  conceal  from  his  family  circle,  or 
village  community,  any  act  of  cowardice,  or  of  any- 
thing else  which  is  considered  disgraceful  to  a  sol- 
dier, or  to  escape  the  odium  which  it  merits  in  that 
circle  and  community. 

In  the  year  1819,  I  was  encamped  near  a  village, 
in  marching  through  Oude,  when  the  landlord,  a 
very  cheerful  old  man,  came  up  to  me  with  his 
youngest  son,  a  lad  of  eighteen  years  of  age,  and  re- 
quested him  to  allow  him  (the  son)  to  show  me  the 
best  shooting  grounds  in  the  neighbourhood.  I  took 
my  "  Joe  Manton,"  and  went  out.  The  youth  showed 
me  some  very  good  ground;  and  I  found  him  an 
agreeable  companion,  and  an  excellent  shot  with  his 
matchlock.  On  our  return,  we  found  the  old  man 
waiting  for  us.  He  told  me  that  he  had  four  sons, 
all,  by  God's  blessing,  tall  enough  for  the  Company's 
service,  in  which  one  had  attained  the  rank  of  havil- 
dar,  (Serjeant,)  and  two  were  still  sipahees.  Their 
wives  and  children  lived  with  him ;  and  they  sent 
home  every  month  two-thirds  of  their  pay,  which 
enabled  him  to  pay  all  the  rent  of  the  estate,  and 
appropriate  the  whole  of  the  annual  returns  to  the 
subsistence  and  comfort  of  the  numerous  family.    He 



was,  he  said,  now  growing  old,  and  wished  his  eldest 
son,  the  Serjeant,  to  resign  the  service  and  come 
home  to  take  upon  him  the  management  of  the 
estate.  That  as  soon  as  he  could  be  prevailed  upon 
to  do  so,  his  old  wife  would  permit  my  sporting 
companion,  her  youngest  son,  to  enlist,  but  not 

I  was  on  my  way  to  visit  Fyzabad,  the  old  metro- 
polis of  Oude,  and  on  returning  a  month  afterwards, 
in  the  latter  end  of  January,  I  found  that  the  wheat, 
which  was  all  then  in  ear,  had  been  destroyed  by  a 
severe  frost.  The  old  man  wept  bitterly ;  and  he 
and  his  old  wife  yielded  to  the  wishes  of  their 
youngest  son,  to  accompany  me  and  enlist  in  my 
regiment,  which  was  then  stationed  at  Pertaubgur. 

We  set  out,  but  were  overtaken  at  the  third  stage 
by  the  poor  old  man,  who  told  me  that  his  wife  had 
not  eaten  or  slept  since  the  boy  left  her,  and  that 
he  must  go  back  and  wait  for  the  return  of  his  eldest 
brother,  or  she  certainly  would  not  live.  The  lad 
obeyed  the  call  of  his  parents,  and  I  never  saw  or 
heard  of  the  family  again. 

There  is  hardly  a  village  in  the  kingdom  of  Oude 
without  families  like  this,  depending  upon  the  good 
conduct  and  liberal  pay  of  sipahees  in  our  infantry 
regiments;  and  revering  the  name  of  the  government 
they  serve,  or  have  served.  Similar  villages  are  to 
be  found  scattered  over  the  provinces  of  Behar  and 
Benares,  the  districts  between  the  Ganges  and 
Jumna,    and   other  parts  where   Rajpoots,   and  the 


other  classes  from  whom  we  draw  our  recruits,  have 
been  long  estabh'shed  as  proprietors  and  cultivators 
of  the  soil. 

These  are  the  feelings  on  which  the  spirit  of  disci- 
pline in  our  native  army  chiefly  depends,  and  which 
we  shall,  I  hope,  continue  to  cultivate,  as  we  have  always 
hitherto  done,  with  care ;  and  a  commander  must 
take  a  great  deal  of  pains  to  make  his  men  misera- 
ble, before  he  can  render  them,  like  the  soldiers  of 
Frederick,  "  the  irreconcileable  enemies  of  their  officers 
and  their  governments 

In  the  year  1817,  I  was  encamped  in  a  grove  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Ganges,  below  Monghyr,  when 
the  Marquis  of  Hastings  was  proceeding  up  the  river 
in  his  fleet,  to  put  himself  at  the  head  of  the  grand 
division  of  the  army,  then  about  to  take  the  field 
against  the  Pindaries,  and  their  patrons,  the  Mahratta 
chiefs.  Here  I  found  an  old  native  pensioner,  above 
a  hundred  years  of  age.  He  had  fought  under  Lord 
Clive  at  the  battle  of  Plassey,  a.  d.  1757,  and  was 
still  a  very  cheerful,  talkative  old  gentlemen,  though 
he  had  long  lost  tlie  use  of  his  eyes.  One  of  his 
sons,  a  grey-headed  old  man,  and  a  Subadar  (captain) 
in  a  regiment  of  native  infantry,  had  been  at  the 
taking  of  Java,  and  was  now  come  home  on  leave,  to 
visit  his  father.  Other  sons  had  risen  to  the  rank  of 
commissioned  officers,  and  their  families  formed  the 
aristocracy  of  the  neighbourhood.  In  the  evening, 
as  the  fleet  approached,  the  old  gentleman,  dressed 
in  his  full  uniform  of  former  days  as  a  commissioned 


officer,  had  himself  taken  out  close  to  the  bank  of 
the  river,  that  he  might  be  once  more,  during  his 
life,  ivithin  sight  of  a  British  commander-in-chief, 
though  he  could  no  longer  see  one  !  There  the  old 
patriarch  sat  listening  with  intense  delight  to  the 
remarks  of  the  host  of  his  descendants  around  him, 
as  the  Governor-general's  magnificent  fleet  passed 
along,  every  one  fancying  that  he  had  caught  a 
glimpse  of  the  great  man,  and  trying  to  describe 
him  to  the  old  gentleman,  who  in  return,  told  them 
(no  doubt  for  the  thousandth  time)  what  sort  of  a 
person  the  great  Lord  Clive  was.  His  son,  the  old 
Subadar,  now  and  then,  with  modest  deference, 
venturing  to  imagine  a  resemblance  between  one  or 
the  other,  and  his  beau  ideal  of  a  great  man.  Lord 
Lake.  Few  things  in  India  have  interested  me 
more  than  scenes  like  these. 

I  have  no  means  of  ascertaining  the  number  of 
military  pensioners  in  England,  or  in  any  other 
European  nation,  and  cannot,  therefore,  state  the 
proportion  which  they  bear  to  the  actual  number  of 
the  forces  kept  up.  The  military  pensioners  in  our 
Bengal  establishment,  on  the  first  of  May  1841, 
were  22,381 ;  and  the  family  pensioners,  or  heirs  of 
soldiers  killed  in  action  1730:  total  24,111,  out 
of  an  army  of  82,027  men.  I  question  whether  the 
number  of  retired  soldiers,  maintained  at  the  ex- 
pense of  government,  bears  so  large  a  proportion  to 
the  number  actually  serving  in  any  other  nation  on 
earth.     Not  one  of  the  twenty-four  thousand  has 


been  brought  on,  or  retained  upon,  the  list  from  poli- 
tical interest,  or  court  favour :  every  one  receives 
his  pension  for  long  and  faithful  services,  after  he 
has  been  pronounced,  by  a  board  of  European  sur- 
geons, as  no  longer  fit  for  the  active  duties  of  his 
profession ;  or  gets  it  for  the  death  of  a  father,  hus- 
band, or  son,  who  has  been  killed  in  the  service  of 

All  are  allovred  to  live  with  their  families ;  and 
European  officers  are  stationed  at  central  points  in 
the  different  parts  of  the  country,  where  they  are 
most  numerous,  to  pay  them  their  stipends  every  six 
months.  These  officers  are  at — 1st,  Barrackpore ; 
2nd,  Dinapore ;  3rd,  Allahabad ;  4th,  Lucknow ;  5th, 
Meerut.  From  these  central  points  they  move  twice 
a  year  to  the  several  other  points  within  their  re- 
spective circles  of  payment,  where  the  pensioners 
can  most  conveniently  attend  to  receive  their  money 
on  certain  days,  so  that  none  of  them  have  to  go  far, 
or  to  employ  any  expensive  means  to  get  it — ^it  is,  in 
fact,  brought  home  as  near  as  possible  to  their  doors 
by  a  considerate  and  liberal  government. 

Every  soldier  is  entitled  to  a  pension  when  pro- 
nounced by  a  board  of  surgeons  as  no  longer  fit  for 
the  active  duties  of  his  profession,  after  fifteen  years' 
service  ;  but  to  be  entitled  to  the  pension  of  his  rank 
in  the  army,  he  must  have  served  in  such  rank  for 
three  years.  Till  he  has  done  so,  he  is  entitled  only 
to  the  pension  of  that  immediately  below  it.  A 
sipahee  gets  four  rupees  a  month,  that  is  about  one- 



fourth  more  than  the  ordinary  wages  of  common  un- 
instructed  labour  throughout  the  country.  But  it 
will  be  better  to  give  the  rate  of  the  pay  of  the 
native  officers  and  men  of  our  native  infantry,  and 
that  of  their  retired  pensions  in  one  table. 

Table  of  the  rate  of  the  pay  and  retired  pensions  of  the 
native  officers  and  soldiers  of  our  native  infantry. 

Rate  of 
pay  per 

Rate  of 

pension  per 


A  Sipahee,  or  private  soldier,  (after  16y  ears' 
service  8  rupees  a  month,  after  20  years 
he  gets  9  rupees  a  month) 

A  Naek,   or  corporal           .... 

A  Havildar,  or  serjeant      .... 

A  Jemadar,  (subaltern  commissioned  officer) 

Subadar,  (or  captain)           .... 

Subadar  major 

A  Subadar,  after  40  years'  service 

A  Sirdar  Bahader   of  the  order  of  British 
India,  1st  class,  two  rupees  a  day  extra; 
2nd  class,    one  rupee  a  day  extra.     This 
extra  allowance  they  enjoy  after  they  re- 
tire from  the  service  during  hfe. 

Rs.  As. 

7    0 
12     0 
14     0 
24     8 
67    0 
92     0 

0     0 

Rs.   As. 
4       0 

7    0 

7    0 

13     0 

25     0 

0     0 

50     0 

The  circumstances  which,  in  the  estimation  of  the 
people,  distinguish  the  British  from  all  other  rules  in 
India,  and  make  it  grow  more  and  more  upon  their 
affections,  are  these: — The  security  which  public 
servants  enjoy  in  the  tenure  of  their  office  ;  the  pros- 
pect they  have  of  advancement  by  the  gradation  of 
rank ;  the  regularity  and  liberal  scale  of  their  pay ; 
and  the  provision  for  old  age,  when  they  have  dis- 
charged the  duties  entrusted  to  them  ably  and  faith- 
fully.    In  a  native  state  almost  every  public  officer 


knows,  that  he  has  no  chance  of  retaining  his  office 
beyond  the  reign  of  the  present  minister  or  favour- 
ite ;  and  that  no  present  minister  or  favourite  can 
calculate  upon  retaining  his  ascendency  over  the 
mind  of  his  chief  for  more  than  a  few  months  or 
years.  Under  us,  they  see  secretaries  to  govern- 
ment, members  of  council,  and  Governors-general 
themselves  going  out  and  coming  into  office  without 
causing  any  change  in  the  position  of  their  subor- 
dinates, or  even  the  apprehension  of  anyc  hange,  as 
long  as  they  discharge  their  duties  ably  and  faithfully. 

In  a  native  state  the  new  minister  or  favourite 
brings  with  him  a  whole  host  of  expectants,  who 
must  be  provided  for  as  soon  as  he  takes  the  helm ; 
and  if  all  the  favourites  of  his  predecessor  do  not 
voluntarily  vacate  their  offices  for  them,  he  either 
turns  them  out  without  ceremony,  or  his  favourites 
very  soon  concoct  charges  against  them,  which  causes 
them  to  be  turned  out  in  due  form,  and  perhaps  put 
into  jail  till  they  have  "  paid  the  uttermost  farthing." 
Under  us  the  Governors-general,  members  of  council, 
the  secretaries  of  state,  the  members  of  the  judicial 
and  revenue  boards,  all  come  into  office,  and  take 
their  seats  unattended  by  a  single  expectant.  No 
native  officer  of  the  revenue  or  judicial  department, 
who  is  conscious  of  having  done  his  duty  ably  and 
honestly,  feels  the  slightest  uneasiness  at  the  change. 

The  consequence  is  a  degree  of  integrity  in  public 
officers  never  before  known  in  India ;  and  rarely  to 
be  found   in  any  other  country.     In  the  province 

VOL.    II.  G    G 


where  I  now  write,  which  consists  of  six  districts, 
there  are  twenty-two  native  judicial  officers,  Moon- 
sifs,  Sudder  Ameens,  and  principal  Sudder  Ameens ; 
and  in  the  whole  province  I  have  never  heard  a  sus- 
picion breathed  against  one  of  them ;  nor  do  I  be- 
lieve that  the  integrity  of  one  of  them  is  at  this 
time  suspected.  The  only  one  suspected  within  the 
two  and  half  years  that  I  have  been  in  the  province, 
was,  I  grieve  to  say,  a  Christian ;  and  he  has  been 
removed  from  office,  to  the  great  satisfaction  of  the 
people,  and  is  never  to  be  employed  again. 

The  only  department  in  which  our  native  public 
servants  do  not  enjoy  the  same  advantages  of  secu- 
rity in  the  tenure  of  their  office,  prospect  of  rise  in 
the  gradation  of  rank,  liberal  scale  of  pay,  and  pro-  • 
vision  for  old  age,  is  the  police;  and  it  is  admitted  on 
all  hands,  that  there  they  are  everywhere  exceedingly 
corrupt.  Not  one  of  them,  indeed,  ever  thinks  it  pos- 
sible that  he  can  be  supposed  honest;  and  those  who 
really  are  so,  are  looked  upon  as  a  kind  of  martyrs 
or  'penitents^  who  are  determined,  by  long  suffering, 
to  atone  for  past  crimes;  and  who  if  they  could  not  get 
into  the  police,  would  probably  go  long  pilgrimages 
upon  all  fours,  or  with  unboiled  peas  in  their  shoes. 

He  who  can  suppose  that  men  so  inadequately 
paid,  who  have  no  promotion  to  look  forward  to,  and 
feel  no  security  in  their  tenure  of  office,  and,  con- 
sequently, no  hope  of  a  provision  for  old  age,  will  be 
zealous  and  honest  in  the  discharge  of  their  duties, 
must  be  very  imperfectly  acquainted  with  human 


nature, — with  the  motives  by  which  men  are  in- 
fluenced all  over  the  world.  Indeed  no  man  does  in 
reality  suppose  so ;  on  the  contrary,  every  man 
knows,  that  the  same  motives  actuate  public  servants 
in  India  as  elsewhere.  We  have  acted  successfully 
upon  this  knowledge  in  all  other  branches  of  the 
public  service,  and  shall,  I  trust,  at  no  distant  period 
act  upon  the  same  in  that  of  the  police ;  and  then, 
and  not  till  then,  can  it  prove  to  the  people  what 
we  must  all  wish  it  to  be, — a  blessing. 

The  European  magistrate  of  a  district  has  perhaps 
a  million  of  people  to  look  after.  The  native  officers 
next  under  him  are  the  Thanadars  of  the  different 
subdivisions  of  the  district,  containing  each  many 
towns  and  villages,  with  a  population  of  perhaps  one 
hundred  thousand  people.  These  officers  have  no 
grade  to  look  forward  to ;  and  get  a  salary  of  twenty- 
jive  rupees  a  month  each ! 

They  cannot  possibly  do  their  duties  unless  they 
keep  each  a  couple  of  horses  or  ponies,  with  servants 
to  attend  to  them,  indeed  they  are  told  so  by  every 
magistrate  who  cares  about  the  peace  of  his  district. 
The  people,  seeing  how  much  we  expect  from  the 
Thanadar,  and  how  little  w^e  give  him,  submit  to  his 
demands  for  contribution  without  a  murmur ;  and 
consider  almost  any  demand  venial  from  a  man  so 
employed  and  so  paid.  They  are  confounded  at  our 
inconsistency ;  and  say,  where  they  dare  to  speak 
their  minds — "  We  see  you  giving  high  salaries,  and 
high  prospects  of  advancement  to  men  who  have 


nothing  on  earth  to  do  but  to  collect  your  revenues 
and  to  decide  our  disputes  about  pounds,  shillings, 
and  pence,  which  we  used  to  decide  much  better 
among  ourselves  when  we  had  no  other  court  but 
that  of  our  elders  to  appeal  to ;  while  those  who  are 
to  protect  life  and  property,  to  keep  peace  over  the 
land,  and  enable  the  industrious  to  work  in  security, 
maintain  their  families  and  pay  the  government 
revenue,  are  left  without  any  prospect  whatever  of 
rising,  and  almost  without  any  pay  at  all." 

There  is  really  nothing  in  our  rule  in  India  which 
strikes  the  people  so  much  as  this  glaring  incon- 
sistency, the  evil  effects  of  which  are  so  great  and  so 
manifest.  The  only  way  to  remedy  the  evil  is,  to 
give  to  the  police  what  the  other  branches  of  the 
public  service  already  enjoy, — a  feeling  of  security 
in  the  tenure  of  office  ;  a  higher  rate  of  salary ;  and 
above  all  a  gradation  of  rank  which  shall  afford  a 
prospect  of  rising  to  those  who  discharge  their  duties 
ably  and  honestly.  For  this  purpose  all  that  is  re- 
quired is,  the  interposition  of  an  officer  between  the 
Thanadar  and  the  magistrate,  in  the  same  manner  as 
the  Sudder  Ameen  is  now  interposed  between  the 
Moonsiff  and  the  judge.*     On  an  average  there  are 

*  Hobbes,  in  his  Leviathan,  says,  "  And  seeing  that  the  end  of 
punishment  is  not  revenge  and  discharge  of  choler ;  but  correc- 
tion either  of  the  offender  or  of  others  by  his  example  ;  the 
severest  punishments  are  to  be  inflicted  for  those  crimes  that  are 
of  most  danger  to  the  pubhc  ;  such  as  are  those  which  proceed 
from  mahce  to  the  government  estabhshed ;  those  that  spring 


perhaps  twelve  Thanas,  or  police  subdivisions  in  each 
district ;  and  one  such  officer  to  every  four  Thanas 
would  be  sufficient  for  all  purposes.  The  Governor- 
general  who  shall  confer  this  boon  on  the  people  of 
India,  will  assuredly  be  hailed  as  one  of  their  greatest 
benefactors.  I  should,  I  believe,  speak  within 
bounds  when  I  say,  that  the  Thanadars  throughout 
the  country,  give,  at  present,  more  than  all  the  money 
which  they  receive  in  avowed  salaries  from  govern- 
ment, as  a  share  of  indirect  perquisites  to  the  native 
officers  of  the  magistrate's  court,  who  have  to  send 
their  reports  to  them,  and  communicate  their  orders, 
and  prepare  the  cases  of  the  prisoners  they  may  send 
in,  for  commitment  to  the  sessions  courts.  Were 
they  not  to  do  so,  few  of  them  would  be  in  office  a 
month.     The   intermediate  officers   here   proposed^ 

from  justice  ;  those  that  provoke  indignation  in  the  multitude  ;  and 
those,  which  unpunished,  seem  authorised,  as  when  they  are  com- 
mitted by  sons,  servants,  or  favourites  of  men  in  power.  For  in- 
dignation carrieth  men  not  only  against  all  actors  and  authors  of 
injustice,  but  against  all  power  that  is  likely  to  pi'otect  them,  as 
in  the  case  of  Tarquin,  when,  for  the  insolent  act  of  his  son,  he 
was  driven  out  of  Rome ;  and  the  monarchy  itself  dissolved." 
Part  2nd,  Sec.  30. 

Almost  every  Thanadar  in  our  dominions  is  a  little  Tarquin  in 
his  way,  exciting  the  indignation  of  the  people  against  his  mas- 
ter. When  we  give  him  the  proper  incentives  to  good,  we  shall 
be  able,  with  better  conscience,  to  punish  him  severely  for  bad 
conduct.  The  interposition  of  the  officers  I  propose  between  him 
and  the  magistrate,  will  give  him  the  required  incentive  to  good 
conduct,  at  the  same  time  that  it  will  deprive  him  of  all  hope  of 
concealing  his  **evil  ways,"  should  he  continue  in  them. 


would  obviate  all  this,  they  would  be  to  the  magis- 
trate at  once  the  tapis  of  prince  Hosain,  and  the 
telescope  of  prince  Alee, — media  that  would  enable 
them  to  be  everywhere,  and  see  everything ! 

I  may  here  seem  to  be  "  travelling  beyond  the 
record  ;"  but  it  is  not  so.  In  treating  on  the  spirit 
of  military  discipline  in  our  native  army,  I  advocate, 
as  much  as  in  me  lies,  the  great  general  principle 
upon  which  rests,  I  think,  not  only  our  power  in 
India,  but  what  is  more, — the  justification  of  that 
power.  It  is  our  wish,  as  it  is  our  interest,  to  give  to 
the  Hindoos  and  Mahomedans  a  liberal  share  in  all 
the  duties  of  administration, — in  all  offices,  civil  and 
military ;  and  to  show  the  people  in  general,  the  in- 
calculable advantages  of  a  strong  and  settled  govern- 
ment, which  can  secure  life,  property,  and  character, 
and  the  free  enjoyment  of  all  their  blessings,  through- 
out the  land ;  and  give  to  those  who  perform  duties 
as  public  servants  ably  and  honestly,  a  sure  prospect 
of  rising  by*  gradation,  a  feeling  of  security  in  their 
tenure  of  office,  a  liberal  scale  of  salary  while  they 
serve,  and  a  respectable  provision  for  old  age. 

It  is  by  a  steady  adherence  to  these  principles 
that  the  Indian  civil  service  has  been  raised  to  its 
present  high  character  for  integrity  and  ability ;  and 
the  native  army  made  what  it  really  is,  faithful 
and  devoted  to  its  rulers,  and  ready  to  serve  them 
in  any  quarter  of  the  world.  I  deprecate  any  inno- 
vation upon  these  principles  in  the  branches  of  the 
public   service    to  which   they  have    been    already 


applied  with  such  eminent  success ;  and  I  advocate 
their  extension  to  all  other  branches,  as  the  surest 
means  of  making  them  what  they  ought,  and  what 
we  must  all  most  fervently  wish  them  to  be. 

The  native  officers  of  our  judicial  and  revenue 
establishments,  or  of  our  native  army,  are  every 
where  a  bond  of  union  between  the  governing  and 
the  governed.  Discharging  everywhere  honestly 
and  ably  their  duties  to  their  employers,  they 
tend  everywhere  to  secure  to  them  the  respect 
and  the  affections  of  the  people.  His  high- 
ness Mahomed  Sueed  Khan,  the  reigning  Nawab 
of  Rampore,  still  talks  with  pride  of  the  days  when 
he  was  one  of  our  deputy  collectors  in  the  adjoining 
district  of  Bhudown ;  and  of  the  useful  knowledge 
he  acquired  in  that  office.  He  has  still  one  brother, 
a  Sudder  Ameen  in  the  district  of  Mynporee,  and 
another  a  deputy  collector  in  the  Humeerpore  dis- 
trict ;  and  neither  would  resign  his  situation  under 
the  honourable  Company,  to  take  office  in  Rampore, 
at  three  times  the  rate  of  salary,  when  invited  to  do 
so  on  the  accession  of  the  eldest  brother  to  the 
musnud.  What  they  now  enjoy,  they  owe  to  their 
own  industry  and  integrity ;  and  they  are  proud  to 
serve  a  government,  which  supplies  them  with  so 
many  motives  for  honest  exertion ;  and  leaves  them 
nothing  to  fear,  as  long  as  they  exert  themselves 
honestly.  To  be  in  a  situation,  which  it  is  generally 
understood  that  none  but  honest  and  able  men  can 
fill,  is  of  itself  a  source  of  pride ;  and  the  sons  of 


native  princes,  and  men  of  rank,  both  Hindoo  and 
Mahomedan,  everywhere  prefer  taking  office  in  our 
judicial  and  revenue  establishments  to  serving  under 
native  rulers,  where  everything  depends  entirely 
upon  the  favour  or  frown  of  men  in  power,  and  ability, 
industry,  and  integrity  can  secure  nothing. 


[In  consequence  of  this  work  not  having  had  the  ad- 
vantage of  the  author's  superintendence  while  passing- 
through  the  press,  and  of  the  manuscript  having  reached 
England  in  insulated  portions,  some  errors  and  omissions 
have  unavoidably  taken  place,  a  few  of  which  the  follow- 
ing notes  are  intended  to  rectify  or  supply.] 

Volume  I.     Chapter  III. — Page  40. 

Charles  Harding,  of  the  Bengal  civil  service,  as  magis- 
trate of  Benares,  in  1816,  prevented  the  widow  of  a 
Brahman  from  being  burned.  Twelve  months  after  her 
husband's  death,  she  had  been  goaded  by  her  family  into 
the  expression  of  a  wish  to  burn  with  some  relict  of  her 
husband,  preserved  for  the  purpose.  The  pile  was  raised 
for  her  at  Hamnuggur,  some  two  miles  above  Benares,  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  river  Ganges.  She  was  not  well 
secured  upon  the  pile  ;  and,  as  soon  as  she  felt  the  fire, 
she  jumped  off,  and  plunged  into  the  river.  The  people 
all  ran  after  her  along  the  bank ;  but  the  current  drove 
her  towards  Benares,  whence  a  police  boat  put  off,  and 

458  NOTES. 

took  her  in.  She  was  almost  dead  with  the  fright,  and 
the  water,  in  which  she  had  been  kept  afloat  by  her 
clothes ;  she  was  taken  to  Harding ;  but  the  whole  city  of 
Benares  was  in  an  uproar,  at  the  rescue  of  a  Brahman's 
widow  from  the  funeral  pile,  for  such  it  had  been  con- 
sidered, though  the  man  had  been  a  year  dead.  Thou- 
sands surrounded  his  house,  and  his  court  was  filled  with 
the  principal  men  of  the  city,  imploring  him  to  surrender 
the  woman  ;  and  among  the  rest  was  the  poor  woman's 
father,  who  declared  that  he  could  not  support  his  daugh- 
ter ;  and  that  she  had,  tlierefore,  better  be  burned,  as  her 
husband's  family  would  no  longer  receive  her.  The  up- 
roar was  quite  alarming  to  a  young  man,  who  felt  all  the 
responsibility  upon  himself  in  such  a  city  of  Benares,  with 
a  population  of  three  hundred  thousand  people,  so  prone 
to  popular  insurrections,  or  risings  en  masse  Very  like 
them.  He  long  argued  the  point  of  the  time  that  had 
elapsed,  and  the  unwillingness  of  the  woman,  but  in  vain  ; 
until  at  last  the  thouglit  struck  him  suddenly,  and  he  said, 
"  That  the  sacrifice  was  manifestly  unacceptable  to  their 
God— that  the  sacred  river,  as  such,  had  rejected  her ; 
she  had,  without  being  able  to  swim,  floated  down  two 
miles  upon  its  bosom,  in  the  face  of  an  immense  multi- 
tude ;  and  it  was  clear  that  she  had  been  rejected  !  Had 
she  been  an  acceptable  sacrifice,  after  the  fire  had  touched 
her,  the  river  would  have  received  her !"  This  satisfied 
the  whole  crowd.  The  father  said  that,  after  this  un- 
answerable argument,  he  would  receive  his  daughter ;  and 
the  whole  crowd  dispersed  satisfied. 

Volume  I.     Chapter  XXJLYh—Page  342. 

In    the   description    of    the  author's  encampment   at 
Gwalior,  he  fell  into  a  mistake,  which   he  discovered  too 

NOTES.  459 

late  for  correction  in  his  journal.  His  tents  were  not 
pitched  within  tlie  Phool  Bag,  as  he  supposed,  but  with- 
out ;  and  seeing  nothing  of  this  place,  he  imagined  that 
the  dirty  and  naked  ground  outside  was  actually  the 
flower  garden.  The  Phool  Bag,  however,  is  a  very 
pleasing  and  well-ordered  garden,  although  so  completely 
secluded  from  observation  by  lofty  walls,  that  many  other 
travellers  must  have  encamped  on  the  same  spot  without 
being  aware  of  its  existence. 

Volume  II.     Chapter  XXVlU.—Page  406,  note. 

By  Act  23,  of  1839,  passed  by  the  Legislative  Council 
of  India,  on  the  23rd  of  September,  it  is  made  competent 
for  court-martials  to  sentence  soldiers  of  the  native  army 
in  the  service  of  the  East  India  Company,  to  the  punish- 
ment of  dismissal,  and  to  be  imprisoned,  with  or  without 
hard  labour,  for  any  period  not  exceeding  two  years,  if 
the  sentence  be  pronounced  by  a  general  court-martial ; 
and  not  exceeding  one  year,  if  by  a  garrison  or  line  court- 
martial  ;  and  not  exceeding  six  months,  if  by  a  regimental 
or  detachment  court-martial.  Imprisonment  for  any 
period  with  hard  labour,  or  for  a  term  exceeding  six 
months  without  hard  labour,  to  involve  dismissal.  Act 
2,  of  1840,  provides  for  such  sentences  of  imprisonment 
being  carried  into  execution  by  the  magistrates  or  other 
officers  in  charge  of  the  gaols. 






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